MANILA – There is a plan to conduct mass testing in Visayas to stop the further transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the central Philippines, a public official said on Tuesday.
During the Laging Handa press briefing aired on state-run PTV-4, Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) Assistant Secretary Jonjie Gonzales said there are enough Covid-19 test kits that will be used to carry out mass testing in Visayas.
On top of the 40,000 donated test kits, Gonzales said additional 50,000 test kits will be purchased “so that we can conduct massive testing in Visayas”.
“Hindi lang pwedeng hanggang lockdown o ECQ (We cannot just implement a lockdown or enhanced community quarantine),” he added.
Gonzales noted that Visayas currently has 40,000 test kits for Covid-19.
Around 20,000 of 40,000 test kits were donated by the Cebu City government to the Vicente Motto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, while the remaining 20,000 were given by the Christina Lee Dino Foundation and by casino junket operator Kim Wong.
Gonzales said entire Visayas is now bracing for the possible “worst-case” scenario, considering that it currently has 49 confirmed Covid-19 cases.
He said most areas in Visayas have already imposed lockdowns to contain Covid-19.
He added that protocols aimed at detecting severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) and influenza-like illness (ILI) have also been implemented.
“These SARI and ILI protocols in Visayas allow us to find (Covid-19 carriers). And we are not waiting for the patients to come to the hospital or come to the health centers para magpa-check (to have their conditions checked),” Gonzales said.
The Philippines has reported 1,546 Covid-19 cases, with 78 deaths and 42 recoveries. (PNA)