As the Philippines launches mass testing, specimen collection booths are going to be rolled-out to ramp up testing.
President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the Department of Health (DOH) to finalize the guidelines on the use of COVID-19 rapid test kits as the government ramps up testing in order to immediately isolate and treat patients.
Currently, the country has 16 COVID-19 testing centers. It is said it is working on strengthening the testing capabilities of more laboratories.
According to Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said it will establish sample collecting booths nationwide for the mass testing of coronavirus disease 2019.
In a Facebook post, De La Peña said the regional offices of DOST will partner with the DOH in setting up the specimen collection booths in the country
Initially, the DOST targets at least 132 specimen collection booths in different regions across the country:
- NCR – 34
- CAR – 6
- Region 1 – 6
- Region 2 – 6
- Region 3 – 8
- Region 4A – 4
- Region 4B – 2
- Region 5 – 5
- Region 6 – 6
- Region 7 – 7
- Region 8 – 3
- Region 9 – 10
- Region 10 – 5
- Region 11 – 4
- Region 12 – 3
- Caraga Region – 4
Moreover, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III stated that labs should operate on 24-hour-shifts for coronavirus testing. Additionally, he said that the government aims to conduct 8,000 to 10,000 tests per day at the end of this month.
The Philippines has the most number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia so far.