Gov’t faces supply chain challenge in ramping up testing capacity

Published June 1, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government is having problems with the supply chain related to enhancing the country’s capacity to test people for the new coronavirus disease, said chief COVID-19 response implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday (June 1).

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. (OPAPP / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr.

Galvez admitted they are trying to resolve the latest challenge so the country can attain the target of 30,000 daily testing capacity by the end of June.

The government previously set a target of 30,000 testing capacity per day by the end of May.

“Ang nakita po namin, nag-meeting kanina iyong private sector at saka si (Bases and Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO) Secretary Vince Dizon, and we are moving forward na before the end of the month ay talagang ma-achieve na po natin iyong capacity natin na mayroon na po tayong capacity na more or less 30,000 po na tests a day (We meet with the private sector and Secretary Vince Dizon and we are moving forward that by the end of the month, we will really achieve our capacity to have more or less 30,000 tests a day),” he said in a Palace press briefing aired on state television.

“Sa ngayon po nagkakaroon po tayo ng mga konting problema sa supply chain at sino-solve na po natin po iyon (At present, we are having problem with the supply chain and we are trying to solve it),” he added.

Galvez said the country’s testing laboratories have a high testing capacity and hopes to further raise the number before the end of the month. So far, the country has 42 testing facilities.

Galvez said local government units in Metro Manila, where most of the coronavirus cases are reported, have conducted regular testing. He said they have also been given “quotas” in testing while mega swabbing facilities are being utilized. He did not elaborate on the testing quota.

Asked if the government will raise the funds for the targeted testing of one to two percent of the country’s population, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the budget for this has been prepared.

He said the government aims to test up to 10 percent of the population in the epicenters of outbreak like Metro Manila.

Roque earlier announced that the country’s testing capacity has reached 32,100 per day last May 20, surpassing the 30,000 goal by end of May.

The health department later clarified that the national testing capacity refers to the capacity of the country’s licensed laboratories, not the actual tests conducted. An average of 8,500 to 9,500 actual tests per day have been conducted in recent days.