Are you thinking of tweeting #MassTestingNow and #SolusyongMedikalHindiMilitar for the umpteenth time? Well, you might want to set your tweets on an infinite loop, because Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque just confirmed that mass testing still isn’t part of the plan right now.
Roque chalked it up to our government’s limited resources.
‘In an ideal world, dapat lahat ng tao, ma-test [for COVID-19]. Pero ang RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing laboratories natin ay 30 pa lang. Eh dapat, di bababa sa 90. Nagkakaubusan rin ng rapid test kits’, he said.
Roque added that while the health sector is still aiming for 30,000 tests by the 31st of May, the government will still be unable to check the majority of Filipinos.
Similar to the Department of Labor and Employment’s advisory, Roque is leaning on the private sector to shoulder the cost of COVID-19 measures.
‘As much as possible, ini-increase natin ang capacity ng testing kaya nga we’re aiming na aabot tayo sa 30,000 (a day), pero in terms sa mass testing na ginagawa ng Wuhan na all 11 million (residents), wala pa pong ganyang programa at iniiwan natin ‘yan sa pribadong sektor’, admits Roque.
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III acknowledged the struggles of businesses during the lockdown, but still pleaded with owners to ‘dig deeper into their vast reserve of charity and benevolence’ for the benefit of their workers.
Currently, the Philippines has 12,513 cases, 2,635 recoveries, and 824 deaths.