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By Prince Golez

Malacañang on Tuesday disagreed with the assessment of the UP-OCTA Research that the stoppage of Philippine Red Cross’ (PRC) coronavirus (Covid-19) testing operations will result in the drop of reported cases in in the National Capital Region, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas by 40 to 50 percent.

Local governments do not know whether or not a person is infected with Covid-19 within the 24 to 48 hour time period required, the researchers claimed.

“We simply disagree kasi hindi lang naman PRC ang nagte-test. We have 115 licensed RT-PCR laboratories and 36 GeneXpert laboratories. So, hindi po tayo nakasalalay sa iisang testing facilitity ng PRC,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.

The PRC earlier stopped COVID-related tests after PhilHealth failed to settle its debt amounting to P930 million.

Roque also reacted to the UP-OCTA Research’s comment that the easing of restrictions in public transport will trigger an increase in Covid-19 cases in the capital region in the next two months, saying he does not share the same view.

“Tingin ko po epektibo po ang ating communciation na si Presidente na ang humihingi sa lahat na mag mask, mag hugas at mag iwas. At diyan naman po makikita ang galing ng Pilipino. Alam po nila na kinakailangan na pagingatan ang kanilang buhay para sila makapaghanapbuhay,” he said.

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