Health Secretary Francisco Duque announced the government’s plans to test a bigger percentage of the country’s population for the novel coronavirus than the US can.
As of July 20, around 1.120 million tests had been done by the Department of Health. The agency is looking at testing 10 million people or about a tenth of the country’s 100 million by 2021, said Duque.
“Hindi naman po natin puwede i-test ang bawat mamamayan. Walang bansa po ang nakakagawa nito, kahit po ang pinakayaman tulad ng United States of America,” he said in the meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte.
[We can’t test every citizen. No country can do that, even the richest, like the United States of America.]
The US has currently the highest COVID-19 case count and death toll worldwide. According to Duque, it has only tested some 40 million people or “close to 9 percent of the total population.”
“Malalagpasan po natin iyon. Magiging mga 10 percent po tayo of the total population of the Philippines at 109 million. We might be able to reach 10 million Filipinos by 2021,” he said.
[We can surpass that. We can test 10 percent of the total population of the Philippines.]
He also emphasized the importance of contact tracing in reducing the number of infections in the country.