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Harry Roque passes mass testing responsibility to private sector, gets flak from netizens

The country’s 30 testing laboratories can currently process up to 14,500 which is less than half of the daily target of 30,000 by the end of May.

  • Harry Roque admitted that the government has no plans to do mass testing for now.
  • He added that they’re leaving the responsibility in the hands of the private sector.

The subject of mass testing has been brought up by people since the beginning of the enhanced community quarantine.

The government has been mostly mum about the unaddressed issue aside from statements saying how there is only limited testing equipment to be used in the country and they have been trying to improve it ever since then.

On May 18, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the government still has no plans to carry out mass testing to detect COVID-19 infections in the country. He then added that such efforts will be left in the hands of private businesses.

“As much as possible, ini-increase natin ang capacity ng testing kaya nga we’re aiming na aabot tayo sa 30,000 [a day], pero in terms sa mass testing na ginagawa ng Wuhan na all 11 million [residents], wala pa pong ganyang programa at iniiwan natin ‘yan sa pribadong sektor,” he said in a press briefing.

Netizens have reacted to Roque’s statement:

When the first call for mass testing surfaced, authorities rejected the idea, but later said that they are implementing a “progressive” COVID-19 testing program that prioritizes people with symptoms, the elderly, those with pre-existent conditions, pregnant women, and healthcare workers.

Several local government units also initiated local testing as they hope to reduce the spread of the virus. There are currently 12,942 confirmed cases in the country, of which 9,262 are active cases, 2,843 have recovered, and 837 died.

The government imposed a two-month lockdown in most of Luzon, which has stretched on to two more weeks for Metro Manila, the epicenter of the local outbreak.

Written by Jacks

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