Vice President Leni Robredo urges the authorities to find ways to speed up certification of laboratories testing for COVID-19. This came amid reports of returning overseas workers still not getting their test results, even after undergoing the required 14-day quarantine.
“Mayroong mga sumusulat sa amin halos isang buwan na sila sa loob ng quarantine facility. Hindi sila makauwi sa kanila kasi ang pinapahintay iyong test,” Robredo expressed her concerns last Sunday in ‘Biserbisyong Leni,’ a weekly radio show which she co-hosts with anchor Ely Saludar.
[Some (OFWs) who have written to us (say) they’ve been staying in the quarantine facility for almost a month now. They can’t go home because they’re being asked to wait for the test results.]
Robredo also shared to her listeners the common complaint among teleconference meetings she attended is the country’s low laboratory testing capacity.
“Kaya ang tagal nila sa quarantine facilities kasi iyon nga, iyong sobrang bagal. Mabagal kasi kakaunti pa lang so dapat bilisan iyong pag-accredit,” explained Robredo.
[The reason why they (OFWs) stay in quarantine facilities for too long because it (the testing process) is too slow. It is slow because there are few (accredited laboratories), so the accreditation process must be sped up.]
The vice president suggested seeking the assistance of experts and the private sector in making the accreditation process faster.
“Kung sino pa iyong marunong sana pagtulong-tulongan na iyong accreditation kasi kailan pa ba tayo magdadagdag,” Robredo said.
[May those who have the knowledge help out in the accreditation because when will we ever add (additional laboratories?)]
COVID-19 response chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. recently announced the country currently has 39 accredited laboratories. This brings the country’s testing capacity of 11,000 tests daily.
The Department of Health aims to certify 17 additional laboratories expand the country’s coronavirus testing capacity.
By the end of the month it aims to have 30,000 tests per day.