Palace says COVID-19 daily tests capacity surpasses 30,000 target
Malacañang said on Monday that the government has surpassed its 30,000 coronavirus disease tests per day capacity target.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that as of May 20, the daily testing capacity already reached to 32,100.
"We have already reached 30,000 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests per day. The original target is 30,000 by May 30, but in May 20, we have already reached the 32,100 tests per day. We have surpassed our target," he said.
As of May 24, he said there were 42 laboratories nationwide and the number could further increase to 66 by the end of the month.
The government earlier targeted to have 30,000 tests daily by the end of the month.
"Our first step to increasing the number of daily tests conducted is to expand our testing capacity. This means more accredited laboratories and more automated machines so that we are capable of testing up to 30,000 plus per day," Roque later said in a statement.
He underscored the need to improve efficiency to that the laboratories are capable of using such capacity to the highest level possible.
"To achieve this, we need to a) improve our human resources through proficiency training, especially on the use of automated machines, b) improve our supply chain management of critical supplies for our labs, and 3) improve our data management to verify and release results faster," he explained.
He also thanked the private sector for its initiative under the Test, Trace and Treat (T3) Coalition "in reaching our initial target ahead of our set deadline."
Meanwhile, in a video conference hosted by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, Minguita Padilla, Project ARK medical team leader, and Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin underscored the need also to test those asymptomatic, especially those returning to work, so as not to infect others.
"Whether to test or not to test, it's a no-brainer. We really have to test," Garin said.
Padilla noted that in the case of Cebu, it appeared that most cases were asymptomatic. Celerina Monte/DMS