To save lives, the lawmakers said the government must recognize the extreme importance and urgency of mass testing along with medical solutions such as contact tracing, isolation, and treatment.
Tags: mass testing
The decrease in the RITM budget is also coupled with the decline in the allotment of other related health concerns, such as the Epidemiology and Surveillance Department, with a 40-percent drop from P247 million in 2019 to P101 million this year. Since 2015, no additional isolation rooms have been built. Related story: What is RITM?…
This is a sidebar report to our special report: RITM, the missing piece in the Philippines’ mass testing capacity vs. COVID-19 By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO Bulatlat.com Established in 1981, RITM was an outcome of a series of negotiations between the Philippine and Japanese governments. The 50-bed capacity hospital was tasked to plan and implement…
“The government placed workers lives in the hands of private employers who prioritize profit over workers’ health and safety. It has placed workers’ lives in the hands of small employers who do not have the necessary resources.”
With billions of pesos at its disposal, from the nation’s coffers and from loans incurred in our name, this government still failed to institute even the minimum standards for COVID-19 response. Of the P380-billion COVID-19 budget under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, it has spent P12.32 billion for health or merely 3.2 percent of the total COVID-19 allocation.
Without mass testing and availability of more testing centers, a molecular biologist reiterated that the Philippines cannot isolate and treat COVID-19 patients.
“What we want to see is how this ECQ is being used to stop the spread of the virus and not just to incarcerate the people in their homes while the government is not making any effort to aggressively conduct mass testing.”
“The case numbers they are presenting is not accurate. How can you tell if the number of cases did not double today if the test result will come out in at least two weeks?”
I am now able to process this, thinking I am lucky to be able to have myself tested, as scores of Filipinos struggle with symptoms while ensuring that they will still have something to eat. But is it all luck? Is it just my luck to live in a territory with satisfactory practices in dealing with a pandemic? And what of it? What of the millions of Filipinos dealing with the pandemic on their own, with barely any government support? Is it their luck to die miserably, alone?
Dr. Julie Caguiat, one the convenors of the Coalition for People’s Right to Health and executive director of the Community Medicine Foundation, said that the mass testing can provide the government a “map” that lays down the arena of its fight against the deadly virus.
Contrary to claims by Health Secretary Francisco Duque, the Philippines comes second to Malaysia in terms of the number of COVID cases in Southeast Asia. The country is the also the second highest in terms of COVID-19 deaths in the region.