The government said that it is on track to reach its goal of testing 10 million Filipinos for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by early next year, translating to 10% of the Philippines’ total population of 110 million.
In a briefing on Friday, testing czar Vivencio “Vince” B. Dizon said that hitting this target by early 2021 is possible since the country has around 200 testing laboratories.
“Ang initial na target na inilagay natin ay ten million tests by the first quarter of 2021, ngayon nasa 6.5 million na tayo mahigit at on the way na tayo doon sa target na iyon (Our initial target we put is ten million tests by the first quarter of 2021, now we are at over 6.5 million and we are on our way in that target),” he said.
He added that they plan to administer seven million tests by the end of 2020, which will make it possible for the government to surpass its goal of testing 10 million Filipinos by the first quarter of 2021.
This June, Mr. Dizon said the government eyes testing 10% to 12% of the population within eight to 10 months through its targeted testing program for the COVID-19.
Mr. Dizon said that Executive Order 118 signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte last month— which puts a price cap on COVID-19 tests—will make testing much more accessible since it limits the cost of each test at P5,000. — Gillian M. Cortez