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Para ‘di magkahawaan! Tito Sotto wants more aggressive mass testing as lockdown eases

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Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Sunday (May 10) urged the Department of Health (DOH) to step up mass testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as the government mulls easing the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status in Metro Manila.

In a statement, Sotto recalled the Senate’s case, where 20 employees tested positive during a rapid testing
conducted on staffers who reported for work when sessions resumed on May 4.

He said the experience should be an eye opener to policy makers and the public that the threat of COVID-19 remains high. He expressed concern that thousands of workers will be infected when they go back to their respective workplaces should the government decide to downgrade the ECQ into general community quarantine.

“Let us remember that even among the quarantined population, the threat that the virus had already invaded their communities and even homes without them being aware of it is also high. Unless mass testing is conducted, we will not know if the person whom we have just talked with, or the person beside us at the grocery aisle or the lady who was pushing the cart before us is infected,” he said.

Sotto said mass testing will allow the government to determine the extent of infection among the population. The data will be useful in helping the policy makers decide on how to deal with the pandemic, he added.

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