Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire (File photo)

MANILA – The country’s coronavirus disease (Covid-19) testing laboratories have performed an average of over 14,500 tests per day in the past week, a health official said Tuesday.

In a Covid-19 virtual presser, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that as of June 28, the laboratories have done a total of 708,534 tests, including 101,593 in the last seven days.

“Last June 27, we’re able to perform 16,289 tests, the highest number of tests performed in one day since the local testing for Covid-19 started in the country,” Vergeire said in a mix of Filipino and English.

She said the increase was due to the expansion of the laboratory network supported by the Inter-Agency Task Force T3 (Test, Trace, Treat).

“(It) is a public-private partnership helping to increase our overall testing capacity and produce high yields and reduce backlogs by give their supplies and equipment to the sub-national laboratories in our country,” Vergeire said.

To date, the Philippines has 53 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratories with 27 are government-run while 26 are private laboratories and 19 GeneXpert Laboratories for Covid-19 testing.

On June 25, National Policy Against Covid-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Vivencio Dizon said the government seeks to reach one million tests for Covid-19 by next month.

He said the country now has the capacity to test more persons as over one million test kits arrived last weekend.

The expanded targeted community testing will focus especially on Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), Cebu, and Davao, he added. (PNA)

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