Increase COVID-19 testing to 150K per day: OCTA Research

The OCTA Research Group called on the government to raise the testing to 150,000 per day to more effectively identify those who are sick and immediately keep them away from other people.

OCTA member Prof. Guido David said that testing should be raised to 75,000 in the National Capital Region (NCR) alone and 75,000 in other parts of the country. He said it can be lowered if NCR Plus does not see a surge of new cases.

“What we’re seeing is mataas pa rin ang hospita­lization. Maganda ‘yung trend na nagi-improve and we want to sustain the downward trend. May uncertainty pa rin dito because the positivity rate is still high,” said David.

In recent days, testing czar Secretary Vince Dizon said the government conducts an average of 55,000 tests per day nationwide. It has a maximum of only 60,000.

David also stressed the importance of additional to care for COVID-19 patients. The shortage of nurses is said to be the bottleneck right now in hospitals.

Health Secretary  III supports extending modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) for another week or two to further lower the number of -19 cases in the country.

Increase COVID-19 testing to 150K per day: OCTA Research

“Tingin ko kailangan ipagpatuloy ang MECQ for another week or two dahil nga ang systems capacity natin, hindi masyadong nag-iimprove pa sa ngayon,” Duque said in a radio interview.

(I think MECQ should be extended for another week or two because our health systems capacity is yet to significantly improve.)

“Iyong ibang siyudad [sa Metro ], critical pa ang risk classification ng kanilang ICU (intensive care unit),” he added.

(The COVID-19 ICU capacity of hospitals in some cities in Metro Manila is still at a critical level.)

According to Duque, the IATF will meet today to decide whether the MECQ protocol—which would be until April 30—will be extended or otherwise.

“There will be a new recommendation from the sub-technical working group on data analytics. What we are looking at is the number of cases per 100,000 population,” he added.

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