The Department of Health (DOH) has tested more than 19,000 persons for the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“Meron na tayong 19,000 plus unique individuals that we have tested. Meron na tayong positibo na lumabas na nasa 3,749,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Saturday.
Vergeire explained that the number of positive results do not match with the number of COVID-19 positive cases because some tests are being repeated while an individual is admitted for monitoring purposes.
Of the more than 19,000 tested, 15,398 individuals tested negative for COVID-19 while 49 showed “equivocal” results, according to Vergeire.
Equivocal result means that a person might be either positive or negative and should be tested repeatedly to get the accurate result.
Secretary Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the national action plan against COVID-19, earlier said the DOH has started mass testing for COVID-19.
“Tama po ‘yan, ang ginagawa natin ngayon is just like mass testing. ‘Yung ating mga vulnerable, ‘yung mga symptomatic ay tinetest na natin sa ngayon,” Vergeire said.
“Ngayon po, ang ating pina-prioritize ay mga symptomatic, severe cases, mga vulnerable population — matatanda with pre-existing conditions, buntis, health care workers na nagpapakita ng sintomas,” she said.
Vergeire said, for asymptomatic, or those who do not show any symptoms of the disease, they are being monitored and advised to isolate as long as they declare they have an exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual.
Vergeire said that the Philippines has sufficient supply of test kits.
“Sa ngayon may sapat pa naman tayong supply ng mga test kits at patuloy ang gobyerno sa pag-procure nito para mapatatag natin ang ating capacity na magsagawa ng test kit,” she said.
“Sa ngayon ang RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine) ay kaya ng magsagawa ng 1,000 test per day; sub-laboratories, 200 per day at yung mga bagong umpisa, 40 per day. Nasa mahigit 2,000 test per day na kaya natin isagawa,” she said./Stacy Ang