The Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 has authorized the expansion of the country’s testing program to cover even those without symptoms, the Palace said on July 3.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, guidelines on testing will be released by the National Task Force and the Department of Health (DOH).
"In principle, approved na po na we will test beyond those who are symptomatic," Roque said in a virtual press briefing.
The government’s current testing scheme—which Roque has called expanded targeted testing—prioritizes testing for patients showing symptoms, health workers, and other frontliners. The further expanded testing would now include asymptomatic individuals, or those showing no signs of the respiratory disease.
This move comes after the Philippines acquires some 10 million COVID-19 testing kits.
"Kasama na po sa ite-test ay hindi lamang ang mga symptomatic at hindi lamang 'yung nagkaroon ng contact sa mayroong COVID-19, kasama na rin po ang mga asymptomatic," he added.
The Philippines can run over 50,000 tests daily, but due to limitations in resources and manpower, we have yet to meet this number, said COVID-19 Testing Czar Vince Dizon.
Instead of the daily 50,000 tests, the country only runs about 14,000 tests per day, the DOH said.