PHL gov’t expands COVID-19 targeted mass testing to include asymptomatics, other frontliners

Palace says 10 million PCR testing kits to be utilized

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announces the latest developments from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Friday, July 3, 2020 (Screengrab from PCOO video/Courtesy PCOO)


(Eagle News) – The Philippine government has approved plans to expand targeted mass testing for COVID-19 to include even asymptomatic individuals, health care workers and other frontliners such as members of the mass media with no symptoms.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this in Laging Handa press briefing on Friday where he announced the latest developments from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

Roque said that the expansion of COVID-19 testing was part of the recommendations of the Department of Health and the National Task Force on COVID-19.

-PHL gov’t acquires 10 million PCR COVID-19 test kits-

He said that this is because the country already has 10 million COVID-19 testing kits, specifically the polymerase chain reaction tests considered the gold standard for COVID-19 testing.

This was contained in the salient points approved by the IATF as contained in its Resolution No. 51.

He said that with this approval, those to be tested are not limited to symptomatic patients and those who have had close contact with COVID-19 positive patients.

Screengrab from PCOO/Courtesy PCOO

“In principle, approved na po we will test beyond those who are symptomatic pero hintayin po natin ang actual guidelines na i-i-issue ng IATF at DOH,” Roque said.

He said that even other government workers considered as frontliners will be part of the expanded targeted COVID-19 mass testing.

As of Wednesday, July 2, the COVID-19 cases in the country reached 38,805 with the addition of 294 cases, with only 52 fresh cases – the lowest so far which have been reported recently.

(Eagle News Service)