By Analou De Vera
The protocols regarding the possible conduct of mass testing for individuals suspected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are still being discussed, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) are expected to discuss the “right directions” for the mass testing, as announced by National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
Vergeire said that it is likely that a triage will still be followed as not all Filipinos will undergo the said testing — if and when such program will be implemented.
“Unang-una po klaruhin po natin yung mass testing. Ang mass testing po na sinasabi natin ay hindi lahat ng tao sa ating bansa. Ito po ay magkakaroon din ng protocol kung saan, kung sakaling itutuloy nga po ito, ay yung atin pong (mga kababayan na) may mga sintomas ang uunahin na itest,” said Vergeire in a press briefing.
[Let’s first clarify the mass testing. Not all Filipinos will be tested. There is need to establish a protocol, if this will be implemented, wherein we will prioritize those with symptoms.]
“Kung sakaling magpositibo, ilalagay natin sa community quarantine facilities. That is the plan,” she added.
[If they test positive, we will bring them to the community quarantine facilities. That is the plan.]
Galvez said that the government is eyeing to start the mass testing on persons under investigation and persons under monitoring for COVID-19 on April 14 in an effort to stop the further spread of the dreaded disease.