MANILA – The country’s coronavirus disease (Covid-19) testing laboratories have performed an average of 19,459 tests per day in the past week, a health official said Thursday.

In a Covid-19 virtual presser, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the laboratories have done a total of 889,066 tests to date.

“Last July 7, we have recorded the highest number of tests conducted in (a) single day where we performed 23,104 tests in a day,” Vergeire said in a mix of Filipino and English.

Vergeire added there is a continuous ramp-up in the country’s testing capacity as part of its Covid-19 response.

“As of July 9, we already have 83 laboratories nationwide and we have 62 RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) laboratories and 21 GeneXpert laboratories. The additional laboratories are Qualimed Health Delivery System-San Jose Del Monte, Parkway Diagnostics, and Philippine Airport Diagnostics,” Vergeire said.

As of Wednesday, the DOH said there are 5,084 persons hired in 302 health facilities nationwide including quarantine facilities, epidemiology and surveillance units, local government units (LGU), and other hospitals and health facilities.

“The DOH also has 334 post-residency deployed physicians and 1,295 redeployed Nurse Deployment Project (NDP) nurses in DOH and LGU hospitals handling Covid-19 cases. In addition, there are 7,349 NDP nurses deployed in their respective communities involved in contact tracing and specimen collection, and 3,407 public health associates who play active roles in contact tracing and surveillance,” Vergeire added. (PNA)