Online call for mass testing draws support

By: Rosalie Abatayo March 23,2020 - 12:54 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The call for mass testing in the country has become louder with now close to 140,000 people supporting the online petition for the government to conduct mandatory testing for the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

An online petition published in change.org called on the national government to “implement free mandatory mass testing nationwide and mobilize the local government units (LGUs) to set-up local testing centers.”

The online campaign was created by the page Mass Testing Now Ph last March 16, 2020, and is addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte.

As of 12 noon of Monday, March 23, 2020, the campaign, which targets to gather 150,000 online signatures, already drew 137,241 supporters.

“The Philippines has just 2,000 virus testing kits for over 100 million Filipinos and cases are rising. We need aggressive, mass testing just like what they do in South Korea, Singapore and other countries,” wrote one of the netizens who supported the mass testing campaign.
The Department of Health, last March 20, said there is no need for mass testing to be conducted in the Philippines yet.
ReadDOH sees no need for COVID-19 mass testing yet
However, DOH Undersecretary Rosette Vergeire said that the government is already planning and prepared to do it “should the need arise.”
Aside from the mandatory testing, the online petition also called on the government to give out face masks, hand soaps, alcohol, drinking water rations, and vitamins to every barangay and conduct “massive disinfection in high-traffic locations regularly.”

In Cebu, several local government units have already started disinfection efforts in their respective communities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Build temporary quarantine and health centers (convert convention centers, gymnasiums, etc.). Partner with the private sector to provide accommodation services (e.g., lease of hotels). Allow the homeless to stay in evacuation centers located in barangays and municipalities,” an excerpt of the petition demands reads. /bmjo

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TAGS: Coronavirus Disease, covid19, mass testing
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