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Economist responds to Harry Roque’s remark of ‘increased testing’ as reason for surging COVID-19 cases

The positivity rate was supposed to see a significant decrease, but unfortunately, that is not seen in the country.

Economist Edson Guido has refuted Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque’s claim that the only reason the Philippines has a surge in coronavirus cases is because of more testing.

While it is true that the country’s testing capacity has improved, there are still more people getting infected than getting tested.

So the main reason cases are increasing is that the transmission of the disease is also up, not just because of mass testing.

More and more people are contracting the disease who don’t even get tested.

The positivity rate was supposed to see a significant decrease, but unfortunately, that is not seen in the country.

The amount of testing shouldn’t be a basis on why a country has relatively more cases, said Guido.

But the positivity rate is a good basis.

Other Asian countries like South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore do not test as much anymore since their transmission rate is now lower.

Guido is however proud of the fact that the testing capacity has seen a significant improvement. It would be most ideal if the country’s positivity rate would go lower than 5 percent in 2 weeks’ time.

Roque earlier reasoned that “increased testing” is the reason the Philippines has replaced Indonesia as the Southeast Asian country with the most confirmed COVID-19 case.

“Ibig sabihin po, dahil mas maigting ang ating pagte-test, hindi po totoo na mas maraming kaso tayo kaysa sa Indonesia. Hindi lang nalalaman ng Indonesian kung sino-sino yung mga umiikot na mayroon nang sakit,” said Roque, who is also the spokesman of the Philippine government’s coronavirus task force.


The Philippines recently surpassed 130,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.

Written by JO-EST B. TAN

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