Pasig City, Cavite to conduct mass testing

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 12) — With the goal of flattening the curve and quelling the spread of the coronavirus disease, the local government of Pasig will conduct mass testing in the city.

"Kailangan talaga, 'yung gagawin natin, [mass testing]. Naabutan lang tayo ng Holy Week, eh. 'Yung mga pipirma ng MOA (memorandum of agreement), eh, wala. [....] Pero ready na po tayo du'n sa testing natin, mass testing," Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto said in a virtual briefing on Sunday.

[Translation: We really need to do mass testing. It just so happened that the persons who will be signing the memorandum of agreement (MOA) are not available because it's Holy Week. (....) But we are ready for our testing, mass testing.]

Sotto made it a point that not all people will be covered by the mass testing, as previously cleared up by the Department of Health.

"'Pag sinabi nating mass testing, hindi po ibig sabihin, lahat, i-tetest, Naglinaw na rin po 'yung Department of Health dito. Ang priority natin, siyempre, 'yung suspected cases; 'yung na-contact tracing natin [....]; at 'yung mga frontliners, health workers natin," he said.

[Translation: When we say mass testing, it doesn't mean we will test everybody. The Department of Health has also made a clarification on this. Our priority will be suspected cases; persons who had contact with COVID-19 infected patients (....); and our frontliners and health workers.]

"Tapos, du'n sa parang web natin, as much as we can, i-tetest [din] natin. Palawak nang palawak 'yung ma-tetest natin," he added.

[Translation: We will also test those in our web-like diagram (of COVID-19 cases). We will expand the coverage of our tests.]

Sotto said the city government will partner with The Medical City for the mass testing, but they have yet to discuss the details.

"[The] Medical City [rin] 'yung partner natin dito. 'Yung detalye, siguro, bukas ko na lang po or sa Martes i-aannounce sa inyo," he said.

[Translation: We will also partner with (The) Medical City. I will announce the details maybe tomorrow or on Tuesday.]

Mass testing in Cavite

In a Facebook post, Governor Jonvic Remulla declared that mass testing will be done in the province of Cavite to "restart its economy."

"For the economy to start, we have to do mass testing. Kailangan ay halos [2 million] na tao sa lalawigan ang [ma-test]," he said.

[Translation: For the economy to start, we have to do mass testing. There are over (2 million) people in the province who need to be tested.]

Remulla enumerated cases that will be prioritized in the province-wide testing. These include students; teachers and school officials; factory workers; wet market, supermarket, and mall employees; drivers of jeepneys, buses, tricycles, pedicabs, and transport services Grab and Angkas; and all other frontliners.

However, the activity will not be free-of-charge. Testing fees for employees of private organizations will be billed to the companies' owners.

The governor said the infrastructure needed for the mass testing is already in place. He said the provincial government will spend another P300 million for the activity.

"This is, by and large, not a perfect plan. We are only 1 out of 81 provinces. I think that if we do it right here, then maybe others will follow our lead," Remulla said.

"This cannot happen without your cooperation. Kailangan sama-sama tayo para matalo ang COVID," he added.

[Translation: This cannot happen without your cooperation. We need to be one with each other so as to beat COVID.]

In the Philippines, there are now 4,648 cases of the viral disease, including 297 deaths and 197 recoveries.