DOH firm on disregarding mass testing despite COVID-19 cases boost

By Kyle Castillo

PHOTO: Canadian Inquirer

Despite the hike of COVID-19 patients and the bloom of the more transmissible Omicron variant, the Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire bares on Friday, January 7, that government still dismiss mass testing because it is ‘irrational and not a science-based strategy’.

In a virtual MalacaƱang press briefing, Vergeire stated that the government will never adopt mass testing since it is not rationally based on science and experts, adding that it will also lead to ‘indiscriminate testing’.


“If you look around the world, no country has the capacity to test their entire population. We also have to think that our [free] testing [would be a] one-time event,” she said.

Health Undersecretary Vergeire asserted that those who are tested may acquire the virus after getting swabbed.

“We will test you all today, tomorrow when you go out, you will have exposure again, will you be tested again?” Vergeire proclaimed.

Meanwhile, Vergeire explained that the government embraced the risk-based approach testing wherein government units prioritized testing people who have exposure to COVID-19 suspects and have the symptoms, and quarantine straight away once found positive.

“Now, understandably, with the number of people getting sick today, we need to prioritize. It’s because of resources. Yes, it is a recognized fact in the Philippines that resources are really quite limited,” Vergeire said (OneNews).

As of this writing, the Philippines has a total of 2.94M COVID-19 cases with 26,211 new cases and a total of 52,135 deaths.



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