The country’s actual testing capacity for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has risen by 74 percent, National Action Plan on Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said Thursday night.
He said the country can now accommodate up to 9,200 tests daily, from just 5,000 tests as of end April.
“Ang pagtaas ng testing capacity ay dahil sa pagdami ng ating accredited Covid-19 laboratories. Sa ngayon mayroon na tayong tatlumpung testing centers sa buong bansa,” Galvez said in a virtual press briefing.
He added that as of May 12, a total of 181,688 tests have been conducted on 166,470 individuals.
“Inaasahan po natin na mas lalawak pa po ang ating kapasidad sa pag-test kapag natapos na natin ang accreditation ng iba pang mga testing laboratories (we are expecting to extend our testing capacity after the accreditation of remaining testing laboratories),” he said.
The task force, he said, has been distributing rapid test kits to Davao Region, National Capital Region, Caraga, Laguna, Zamboanga City, and those areas that lack Covid-19 testing laboratories.
About 177,500 rapid test kits, he said, had already been distributed to various regions nationwide.
Meanwhile, Galvez urged the public for support and patience amid the ongoing efforts of the government to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
“Sa ating mga kababayan, kami po ay humihingi ng inyong patuloy na suporta at pag-unawa sa ating pagharap sa krisis na ito (to our fellow citizens, we ask for your continued support and understanding as we deal with this crisis),” he said, adding that the government is doing its best to ensure the protection of the public against the coronavirus risks.
He said the government assures the safety of the public by providing a high quality of personal protective equipment (PPEs), medical supplies, and ensuring the provision of other health services.
The spirit of Bayanihan, he said, will also help the country to “win a successful battle against the coronavirus outbreak.”
“The problem we are currently facing is something new and which no government in the entire world has a manual that states the actions that can be taken. The whole world is breaking new ground and we are all learning as we go,” he said.
Galvez encouraged the public to cooperate with the government adopting the “new normal” as the modified enhanced community quarantine will be implemented in selected areas starting Saturday.
“And like the first-world countries that are trying to learn as they go, our actions may not be perfect or ideal, but we are doing our best to serve the people to solve the problems at hand, pouring our time, mind and heart to accomplish the mission entrusted to us,” he said.