“We are very fervent in our commitment to make sure that happens,” DOH Special Assistant Dr. Beverly Ho said in press briefing televised over PTV Channel 4.
Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) is now processing around 1,000 tests a day, Ho added.
DOH is anticipating a higher number of testing due to the newly hired medical technologists currently trained to help increase work shifts for the sub-national laboratories.
RITM has an average of 48 to 72 hours of processing time for tests.
Currently, the subnational laboratories including the San Lazaro Hospital, University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health, Lung Center of the Philippines, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Western Visayas Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center Cebu and Southern Philippines Medical Center can process 500 tests daily.
The department cited laboratories can do a total of 3,000 COVID-19 tests per day by April 14.
“The test kits produced by the University of the Philippines (UP) is also expected to get marketing authorization as soon as they submit their results to Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” Ho said.
This will be added to the number of COVID-19 tests once this is approved, Ho added.
The DOH, however, clarified that the target patients considered to be part of testing are the symptomatic patients and vulnerable people including elderly, pregnant and healthcare workers.
As of April 3, the DOH has recorded 3,018 positive COVID-19 cases with 136 deaths and 52 recoveries while laboratories have tested 16,368 individuals. (PIA-NCR)
By Joedie Mae Boliver