Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says government plans to test between one to two percent of the population in connexion with efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus. This latest statement ran contrary to earlier pronouncements that Malacanan does not intend to do mass testing.
Roque says government has expanded mass testing using the PCR method, approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
“So what we are doing is to follow the best examples we have. Right now we are trying to follow the footsteps of South Korea and right now the goal is to test 1.5 to 2 percent of the total population,” he added.
Malacanan pegged its target between 1.65 million to 2.2 million Filipinos. So far, the Department of Health tested 207,823 unique individuals, which is a measly 0.19 percent of the country’s total population.
Roque claims that the Philippines has “one of the strongest testing measures” ever, subjecting even all returning Filipinos are asked to be tested. “All OFWs are subject, in fact, to PCR testing not just antibody testing whereas in other countries they only test those who have symptoms. But in the Philippine every OFW that comes home would have to be tested by PCR,” Roque said.