Davao City to 'test more people' but still not mass testing
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Mayor Sara Duterte on Saturday, April 25, said that although the local government is now preparing to test more people, it still would not conduct mass testing.
“I want to manage the public's expectation about possible mass testing,” Duterte said.
“We just want to test more people but it can't still be mass testing,” the mayor added.
In the national level, the Department of Health (DOH) has increased its testing capacity but it is still currently at a targeted mass testing level, where only then the critical and vulnerable cases are covered.
Duterte said that in limited capacities, Davao City can already conduct random tests, which goes beyond the critical levels, but still not enough to be called mass testing.
Duterte said a team from the Department of Health has been conducting random tests in some neighborhoods in Agdao, Bankerohan, and Buhangin; and areas surrounding barangays 21 and 23, where new cases had recently been discovered.
Duterte said 4 more laboratories in the city are now preparing to test for coronavirus.
Duterte said even with the additional testing laboratories, the sheer number of people in the city made it impossible for mass testing to take place.
Davao City has a population of more than 1.6 million people.
Duterte said the 4 laboratories were awaiting accreditation from the Department of Health (DOH).
These are the Davao Doctors Hospital, a privately-owned laboratory, a DOH facility, and the city-operated TB center, which will complement the Southern Philippines Medical Center's 80 tests per day,
“What we will do is pursue our goal of having more laboratories so we can test more,” Duterte said.
Duterte said the city government is also looking to increase the number of its isolation facilities.
Currently, the city has registered a total of 101 positive cases since the outbreak started.
Duterte admitted that the number of positive cases was expected to increase with more tests.
“Contact tracing is a core measure to control the further spread of the disease,” she said.
Duterte meanwhile said that people should not expect a return to normal soon, because the virus can only be defeated when a cure or a vaccine has been developed.
“We have been doing our best but our efforts would not bring us back to what is normal, when we can freely roam because there is still no cure or vaccine for COVID-19,” the mayor said. – Rappler.com