MANILA – The government is planning to a massive and expanded testing of suspected cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Metro Manila not later than May 7, National Task Force Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Tuesday.
During a virtual hearing of the House Defeat Covid-19 Committee (DCC), Galvez said the government will prioritize the National Capital Region, which he described as the “center of gravity” of the pandemic in the country, in the mass testing to stop the spread of the virus.
Galvez said the scope covers persons under investigation and monitoring for possible infection, as well as front-liners.
“Once we are able to flatten the curve in NCR, we are 70 percent finished in winning the fight against Covid-19,” Galvez said.
Mass testing for other red or high-risk areas under the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine will be done not later than May 15.
He noted that the national task force also aims to do 20,000 tests daily starting May 15 and 30,000 tests a day not later than May 30 with a standard processing time of 24 to 48 hours in releasing the results.
As a way forward, he said all facilities shall be reconfigured to the “new normal” of social and physical distancing.
He said that inbound overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will be properly processed, with one-stop shops available for rapid testing in airports.
He said that an arriving OFW shall undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at government-managed facilities and a round of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab tests.
The task force is also responsible for handling the return of stranded persons to their areas and the repatriation of foreigners. (PNA)