The Department of Health (DOH) is aiming for the conduct of up to 100,000 tests for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), which is a 100-percent increase over the around 50,000 tests conducted daily in the past week.
“The target would be as what the experts would say, we should be targeting 100,000 tests per day, and that is the objective. We are adding the rapid antigen test in our methodology so that we will be able to reach that target,” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a television interview.
She said the tests will be conducted using both the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests and rapid antigen tests.
Vergeire added the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has directed the use of rapid antigen testing, especially in areas that have recorded a spike in Covid-19 cases.
“So having said that, by using this rapid antigen, and also coupled by these RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) laboratories that we have, we will be able to ramp up testing,” she said.
As for those who will test positive for Covid-19, the DOH official said they should do their part by isolating or seeking treatment.
“What would be most critical also is that once we test, we also need to isolate immediately. These are the gaps in the system right now that we can see, that there is this delay in isolating or quarantining people that’s why the transmission is happening,” the DOH official said.
The Philippines logged a record 10,616 Covid-19 cases on Monday, which is also the first time daily cases from the virus breached the 10,000 mark.