Expanded testing led to Covid-19 spike in cases: Palace

Expanded testing led to Covid-19 spike in cases: Palace

MANILA – There was a sharp rise in confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the country after the government ramped up its testing capacity, Malacañang said on Thursday.

“Habang napapaigting natin ang ating testing, siyempre po, mas maraming tao nate-testing, mas marami tayong nakikitang may Covid-19 (As we expanded our testing strategy, of course, we observe the increase in Covid-19 infections because we are able to test more people),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4.

The Philippines reported 50,359 confirmed Covid-19 cases on Wednesday after it logged 2,539 new cases, the highest single-day increase reported in the country.

The Covid-19 infections further climbed to 51,754, as of Thursday afternoon.

Roque said the total Covid-19 cases has breached the 50,000-mark because of the country’s improved testing capacity.

“May mga nagtatanong, bakit daw umabot sa mahigit limampung libo ang naging kaso ng Covid-19. Well dahil tumataas po ang ating testing (Some are asking why the country now has over 50,000 Covid-19 cases? Because our testing capacity improved),” he said.

Despite the latest development, Roque believed that the government’s move to expand national testing for Covid-19 would help stop the further spread of the new coronavirus.

“Iyan po ay mabuti dahil maihihiwalay natin sila, maa-isolate natin sila at kapag na-isolate natin sila, hindi na po kakalat iyong sakit (That’s a welcome development because we can isolate those with confirmed cases. We will be able to arrest the spread of the disease),” Roque said.

Roque also noted that as of July 7, 93.7 percent of infected individuals are exhibiting mild symptoms, while 5.6 percent are asymptomatic.

He added that the country only recorded 0.6 percent “severe” cases and 0.1 percent “critical” cases.

National Task Force against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon on June 29 said the government is aiming to test 10 million Filipinos in the next eight to 10 months.

On July 3, Malacañang announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases had approved the expansion of the testing strategy to fully use the 10 million reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test kits procured by the Budget and Health departments.

Imposing quarantine rules based on ‘human experience’

To combat Covid-19, Roque reminded the public to regularly wash their hands, use face mask, and observe safe physical distancing.

The government continues to implement strict health and quarantine measures to defeat Covid-19.

Law enforcers are apprehending those who are violating the rules imposed to fight the coronavirus.

Roque said the health and quarantine rules should be enforced according to “human experience.”

“Bagama’t may mga rule (While there are rules), it must be implemented pursuant to human experience,” Roque said.

The statement came a day after journalist Howie Severino was apprehended in Quezon City for his supposed failure to cover his nose and mouth after drinking water.

Roque advised the public to explain to authorities the reason why they have to briefly remove their face masks.

“Explain lang natin sa mga pumupuna na ang ginagawa lang natin ay tinanggal ang mask para uminom. Wala naman pong problema ‘yun kapag na-explain (Just explain that you need to drink water, if you are questioned. There would be no problem if you explain),” he said. (PNA)

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