DOH announced Monday the Philippines can now run up to 1,000 COVID-19 tests per day with the recent arrival of additional screening kits.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque said Monday DOH could only process 300 tests daily, but the new test kits increased their capacity with 300%. He also said they expect more confirmed cases in the following days.
“Dahil nga tumaas ang capacity, iyong testing kits dumami at nakakapag-1,000 [tests a day na], asahan natin tataas pa ang bilang ng ating COVID-positive cases,” Duque told DZMM.
(Because our capacity grew — the testing kits increased and we can now run 1,000 tests — we should expect the number of COVID-positive cases would also spike.)
PH can now run 1,000 COVID-19 tests per day
“Huwag po natin asahan na dahil nag-lockdown tayo ante mano, kaagad-agad e babagsak na ang kaso ng COVID,” he added.
(Let’s not expect that just because we imposed a lockdown, our COVID cases will immediately drop.)
The Department of Health also approved a laboratory in Davao City to run the COVID-19 testing in the Mindanao region.
Mayor Sara Duterte confirmed on Saturday that Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) certified the molecular diagnostic laboratory at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) to DOH’s subnational laboratory.
The laboratory could run a batch of 30 patients within eight hours with two batches every day. Once the SPMC gets fully operational, it could process 60 specimens every day, which lessens the waiting time compared to RITM.
As of March 29,2020, the Philippines has 1,418 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 71 deaths, and 42 recoveries.