DUQUE URGES COVID TESTING LABORATORIES TO CONTINUE OPERATIONS AND PREPARE FOR INCREASED TESTING DEMAND

Press Release | 23 December 2020

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco T. Duque III today called on laboratories to stay open in spite of the holidays and prepare for the anticipated surge of COVID-19 cases during his visit to licensed testing laboratories in Makati City.

Joined by DOH Assistant Secretary Elmer Punzalan, Metro Manila Center for Health Development OIC - Director Corazon Flores, and Department of Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Ann Claire Cabochan, the officials inspected the laboratories’ facilities and urged them to ensure continuous operation and preparedness for the anticipated surge of COVID-19 cases.

The DOH and DTI officials were joined by Dr. Bernard Sese, Makati City’s Chief Health Officer, and Health Metrics President Antonio Abaya who explained that their laboratory primarily caters to inbound and outbound seafarers and currently runs 70 tests per day on average. Mr. Abaya further assured that the laboratory is ready to take on up to 500 tests per shift, and can increase the number of shifts should the need arise.

Secretary Duque acknowledged the laboratory’s efforts and urged all testing laboratories to be ready to address the increased testing demand of the anticipated increase in COVID-19 cases over the holidays. “Your commitment to continue operations in spite of the holidays is noteworthy as much as it is needed. I likewise urge all laboratories to do the same and aid the government in meeting the increased testing demand that comes with the observed increase in cases,” Sec. Duque said.

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