A laboratory personnel takes a swab of a woman in this April 14, 2020 photo.
The STAR/Walter Bollozos
DOST to install sample collection booths for coronavirus nationwide
(Philstar.com) - April 16, 2020 - 10:05am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology will install COVID-19 specimen collection booths across the archipelago as the government began a more aggressive testing program to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. 

In a Facebook post Thursday , DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said the agency’s regional offices, together with the Department of Health, will set up specimen collection booths in the country.

  • National Capital Region – 34 booths
  • Cordillera Administrative Region – 6 booths
  • Ilocos Region – 6 booths
  • Cagayan Valley – 6 booths
  • Central Luzon – 8 booths
  • Calabarzon – 4 booths
  • Mimaropa – 2 booths
  • Bicol Region – 5 booths
  • Western Visayas – 6 booths
  • Central Visayas – 7 booths
  • Eastern Visayas – 3 booths
  • Zamboanga Peninsula – 10 booths
  • Northern Mindanao – 5 booths
  • Davao Region – 4 booths
  • Soccsksargen – 3 booths
  • Caraga – 4 booths
  • DOH Center for Health Development Offices (select locations across the country) – 19

Further details of the project will be released in the following days, De la Peña said.

The expanded testing for COVID-19 began Tuesday, with the government targeting to conduct 8,000 tests per day by the end of the month.

Philippine authorities have been criticized for its slow testing for COVID-19, a disease that has so far infected 5,453 people and killed 349 locally. But the government began ramping up its efforts due to increases in test kits and laboratory capacity.

The number of individuals tested for COVID-19 stood at nearly 40,000 as of Wednesday. 

The goverment is eyeing to purchase 900,000 polymerase chain reaction-based kits and some two million rapid test kits. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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