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PH Testing Capacity for COVID-19 Now at 12,000

The country has a target of 30,000 tests daily by the end of May.
by Clara Rosales
May 8, 2020
Photo/s: National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

 The Philippines now has the capacity to conduct 12,000 tests for COVID-19 daily in order to isolate positive cases and treat patients with the respiratory disease.

Vince Dizon, the Deputy Chief Implementer of the National Task Force COVID-19 and president of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, said in a May 8 ANC interview “We are now at a laboratory capacity of roughly around 12,000 per day.”

The country has four mega swabbing centers to increase testing capacity. They are at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City and Palacio de Maynila in Pasay City, the Enderun Tent in Taguig City, and the Philippine Sports Stadium in Philippine Arena in Bulacan. Each testing center is expected to conduct 5,000 tests per day, with the government hoping to hit the target of 30,000 tests daily by the end of May.

The testing center in Mall of Asia Arena has been inspected earlier today and got the go signal from authorities.

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“Sa susunod na linggo, makukuha na natin ang target natin na 5,000 tests a day kapag fully operational na lahat ang ating mga swabbing center,” Dizon said.

“We have 18,000 to go but I am really confident that with the help of the private sector and the government working together, and the government being a facilitator helping out our labs especially the labs being proposed by the private sector, we can achieve this goal of 30,000-tests-per-day lab capacity by May 30,” he added.

Apart from increasing testing capacity, the government is also looking to set up and accredit 50 more laboratories within the month to add to the 20 existing laboratories accredited to test for COVID-19.

Dizon said these laboratories are now in the final stages of accreditation.

Once the swabbing centers are ready to go, over 20,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will be prioritized.

The four swabbing centers are all in Luzon, but Dizon said Visayas and Mindanao also need their own swabbing centers to test more people on-ground.

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As of 4 p.m., May 7, there are a total of 10,343 cases in the Philippines, with 1,618 total recoveries and 685 total deaths.