With higher testing capacity, gov’t to trace and test asymptomatic patients
The country’s maximum daily testing capacity reaching almost 42,000 will allow the government to expand its targeted testing to cover asymptomatic individuals, especially in communities with high risk of COVID-19 transmission, National Action Plan Against COVID-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon said Thursday.
“Dahil sa malaking capacity natin nationwide, lalo na sa Visayas at sa Mindanao, pwede na tayong lumagpas pa sa mga may sintomas. Dapat ang goal na natin ngayon sa expanded targeted testing ay paghahanap at pagte-test ng mga asymptomatic,” said Dizon.
Dizon also heads the public-private group Task Force T3 or Test, Trace, Treat.
“Sa Pilipinas at sa buong mundo, halos 98 percent ng mga kaso ng COVID-19 ay asymptomatic o mild lang ang sintomas; two percent lang ang may mga kritikal at may mga grabeng pakiramdam at sakit. Kaya kailangan talaga ay palawakin natin ang ating targeted testing,” said Dizon.
Dizon said expanded targeted testing will prioritize densely-populated communities in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Cebu, and Davao.
The increase in daily testing capacity will also expand testing to cover frontliners including health workers, law enforcers, security guards, among others, even those without symptoms.
As of June 3, the maximum rated capacity per day is 41,990. This is a 2,000-percent increase from the 2,000 capacity back in March 20. COVID laboratories have also increased from just one in February to 52.
“Ang punto natin dito ay habang dumadami ang nating tinetest, napipigilan natin ang pag spread ng virus sa ating mga komunidad at marami tayong mga buhay na masasalba,” Dizon said.
Through the efforts of Task Force T3, there are now four mega swabbing centers in operation. These centers have a capacity to conduct a minimum of 5,000 tests daily.
The four mega swabbing centers are the Palacio de Maynila, Enderun Tent in Taguig City, the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, and the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.