Mass testing for COVID to start April 14
Peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the national policy on COVID-19, said the government is readying facilities that would serve as isolation centers for people suspected of contracting the disease.
STAR/Boy Santos/File
Mass testing for COVID to start April 14
Jose Rodel Clapano, Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - April 4, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — “Massive” testing of persons under investigation (PUIs) for possible coronavirus disease 2019 infection and those who had close contact with COVID-19  patients is slated to start on April 14.

Peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the national policy on COVID-19, said the government is readying facilities that would serve as isolation centers for people suspected of contracting the disease.

“On massive testing for PUIs and PUMs (persons under monitoring), we are also determined to fast-track the accreditation of substantial laboratories so we can start with the mass testing of the PUIs and PUMs,” Galvez said at a press briefing Thursday night.

“We expect that by April 14, we will be able to start massive testing,” he added.

Galvez said the government aims to convert the Rizal Memorial Complex, World Trade Center, Philippine International Convention Center and Cultural Center of the Philippines complex into mass quarantine facilities within 10 days.

“I am very confident we will increase recovery... We have more than 500 COVID-19 patients located in our best hospitals,” he added.

“For the distribution of PPEs, the Department of Health is looking at the bed capacities and the number of COVID-19 patients to identify hospitals that critically need PPEs,” Galvez said.

He said he was also able to talk to the president of the Indian Chamber of Commerce which committed to purchase six million masks to be distributed to Mercury drugstore and Watsons.

“With the strong partnership between the government and the private sector, we were able to normalize the medical supplies of the Department of Health. As you can see, the bayanihan spirit is alive during these difficult times. We would like to thank the private sector and individual citizens who extended assistance to their countrymen,” Galvez said.

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