Absence of targeted, expanded testing led PH to COVID second wave

Gov’t, IATF, health department to blame for ‘second wave shock’

“If we are to believe the pronouncements of Health Secretary Francisco Duque that the country is now experiencing a second wave of the pandemic, then we could only attribute this to the government’s irresponsible handling of the pandemic, primarily the lack of expanded and targeted mass testing which is the only effective way to identify, isolate, and treat COVID-19 positive patients. Ngayon, gusto ng gobyerno na matira matibay na lang ang laban at huwag munang mamatay ang mga tao hangga’t walang bakuna sa COVID19. Total cases have breached the 13,000 mark as of May 20.”

As of May 18, the country has tested 207, 803 unique individuals or less than one percent per million population. What we only know now is the infection status of those who have been tested. There are many more who could be positive but asymptomatic and are unknowingly spreading the virus. We fought COVID19 with a blindfold. This is the reason why infection and fatality rates in the country continue to rise.

“DOH can’t just shock us by saying that we are now in COVID second wave and that we are beginning to flatten the curve.”

“The extended lockdown was supposedly imposed to buy time and prepare the national health system to provide critical care for COVID-19 patients. The government wasted the past two months of community quarantine by refusing to conduct mass testing, worse, by passing the responsibility of testing the country’s workforce to the private sector. Nasa gobyerno ang lahat ng pondo at rekurso, bakit pribadong sektor ang bahala sa testing?” says Danilo Ramos, chairperson of KMP.

“We have stressed it enough before – without an effective mass testing, the lockdown would only be a futile attempt in containing the virus,” the KMP leader said.

“Since day one of the lockdown, sectors have been demanding for free mass testing which we fully understand, is not the testing of the entire population but confirmatory testings that will cover a significant majority, especially the most vulnerable sectors – the frontliners, the immunocompromised and symptomatic patients, and targeted population in communities with clustered cases. However, what the government only managed to do then was VIP testing for selected personalities,” Ramos added.

KMP reiterated demands for free targeted and expanded testing and increasing the laboratory capacities as well as additional isolation, quarantine, and treatment facilities for COVID patients. ###

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