The Department of Health (DOH) said Monday it targets to test the 1.5% of the 110 million Filipino population by the end of July.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the country reached its rated testing capacity of almost 50,000 daily with 59 COVID-19 testing laboratories operating nationwide.
“Nakukuha po natin ang rated capacity kapag tiningnan natin ang isang lisensyadong laboratoryo, base sa kanilang RT-PCR machines kung ilan ‘yan, base sa kung ang health human resources ay kumpleto, base rin po sa operating hours ng isang laboratory and then we compute for their maximum capacity na pwedeng magawa base sa resources ,” she said.
(We already reached the rated capacity if we look at the licensed laboratories, based on the number of their RT-PCR machines, based on whether the human resources are complete, based on the operating hours of a laboratory and then we compute for their maximum capacity that can be generated based on resources.)
Vergeire, however, noted that the actual daily testing capacity differs because of some “operational issues” in the laboratories.
DOH aims to test 1.5% of population by July 31
“Ang atin pong average ay pumapalo na po sa 10,500 to 11,000 a day for output. Hopefully po magtuloy-tuloy para pagdating ng end of July we can reach that we have tested 1.5% of the population,” Vergeire said.
(Our average is reaching 10,500 to 11,000 a day for output. Hopefully, this would continue, so by the end of July, we can achieve that we have tested 1.5% of the population.)
The goal of 1.5% of the population is equivalent to 1.65 million Filipinos. The DOH has tested 468,681 cumulative unique individuals as of June 13.
She added that the health department is employing different measures to narrow the gap between the actual and rated testing capacity.
DOH included additional subsectors such as other frontliners such as barangay health emergency response teams and social workers and other vulnerable populations to the expanded testing guidelines.
“Expectedly, there will be an increase in the samples that will be submitted to our laboratories,” she added.
Vergerie added more COVID-19 testing laboratories are undergoing accreditation. Supplies for the testing also stabilized, which strengthened the capacity.