MANILA – National policy against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Vivencio Dizon said the four mega swabbing centers that the government is building will prioritize the 25,000 overseas Filipinos (OFs), including land-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and seafarers staying in quarantine facilities in Metro Manila and Greater Metro Manila Area.
In a Palace briefing Tuesday, Dizon said they will be the immediate target of the four mega swabbing centers located in the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Enderun Colleges in Taguig City, and the Palacio de Maynila Tent along Roxas Boulevard.
“…We have to test them as soon as possible to decongest the quarantine facilities in Metro Manila to start accepting overseas Filipinos again,” he said.
The government has restricted inbound flights to Metro Manila, including flights carrying arriving OFWs and OFs, to decongest the country’s quarantine facilities.
Dizon said the country’s current testing capacity is at 5,000 tests per day.
The government targets to increase the daily testing capacity to 30,000 by May 30.
He said when the country reaches this level of testing, this would be higher than the testing capacity in Singapore at 8,000 daily, Israel at 13,342 tests per day, and South Korea at 20,000 tests daily.
Aside from the swabbing centers, the government is increasing the number of laboratory testing centers in the country from the current 22 facilities to 78 laboratories by end of the month.
These initiatives are part of the government’s T3 Program or the ‘test, trace, and treat’ approach to combat the spread of Covid-19 in the country, Dizon said.
“We will save a lot of life when we ramp up testing,” he added. (ia/PNA)