Cavite set to conduct mass coronavirus testing
MANILA, Philippines – The province of Cavite is set to conduct mass testing for the coronavirus, focused on certain sectors.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, April 12, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla said testing is important to restart the economy.
"For the economy to start we have to do mass testing," he said. "Kailangan ay halos 2,000,000 na tao sa lalawigan ang mai-testing (Nearly 2 million people should be tested in our province)."
Cavite has a population of 3.68 million, based on the 2015 census.
The infrastructure, Remulla said, is already in place. The province "will spend another P300 million for the mass testing to be effective."
Those who will be targeted for the mass testing include:
- Teachers and school staff members. The local government will shoulder testing for those working for public schools, while testing for private school staff will be paid by owners.
- Public utility vehicle drivers, including Grab and Angkas drivers
- Factory workers. Testing will be shouldered by factory owners.
- Employees of groceries, supermarkets, wet markets, and malls. Testing for public sector workers will be shouldered by the government, while business owners will pay for those employed in private facilities.
"This is by and large not a perfect plan, we are only one out of 81 provinces," Remulla said. "I think that if we do it right here, then maybe others will follow our lead."
As of Friday, April 10, Cavite province has 97 coronavirus cases from its 19 cities and municipalities.
Cavite is one of the first provinces to announce its plan to start mass testing, seen by experts as a way to determine the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in the Philippines.
The Philippine government has said that it aims to conduct 20,000 tests per day by April 27.
As of Sunday, there were 4,648 confirmed cases of the virus in the Philippines, with 297 deaths and 197 recoveries. – Rappler.com