There will be mass testing after all, and it will begin in less than two weeks.

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the National Action Plan to stem the Covid-19 outbreak, made the announcement in a press briefing Thursday evening.

“We are also determined to fast-track the accreditation of subnational laboratories so we can start the massive testing of PUIs and PUMs,” he said, referring to persons under investigation and persons under monitoring for possible infection.

“We expect that by April 14, we shall be able start massive testing. This will allow us to identify the Covid-19 carriers, isolate and treat them,” he said.

Galvez on Tuesday said the government was set to shift to a strategy of forced quarantines ahead of an expected influx of Covid-19 infections because of ramped-up testing.

READ: ‘Chief implementer’ of Covid-19 plan readies forced quarantine facilities

On Thursday, Galvez said that “within the next 10 days,” the government would convert the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, World Trade Center, Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) into quarantine facilities.

“We’ll also deploy three doctors and 50 nurses at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex,” he said.

Galvez said he was talking to members of Iglesia ni Cristo to “secure” its Philippine Area, said to be the world’s largest indoor arena, “as soon as possible.”

The government also wants to convert the following into quarantine or isolation facilities:

  • Quezon Institute
  • Philippine Sports Complex (ULTRA),
  • Duty Free Philippines-Parañaque
  • Amoranto Sports Complex
  • Quezon City Memorial Complex
  • Veteran’s Medical Center Complex

In addition, the Commission on Higher Education will convert a convention center in Bicol and other areas into mass quarantine facilities, he said.

 

Galvez also said an initial 15,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) from China arrived at Villamor Airbase on March 31 and were distributed to:

  • Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center
  • East Avenue Medical Center
  • San Lazaro Hospital
  • Lung Center of the Philippines
  • Philippine General Hospital
  • Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital

“These are part of the first batch of one million PPEs under the government to government procurement agreement between the Philippines and China. The remaining 985,000 PPEs are scheduled to arrive from April 6 to 24,” he said.

The government is expecting 30,000 sets of PPE from Solaire casino owned by businessman Enrique Razon, with 15,000 to be distributed to hospitals in Metro Manila and 15,000 to hospitals in the Visayas and Mindanao.

San Miguel Corp. CEO Ramon Ang will also donate P500 million worth of PPEs and 100 ventilators, Galvez said. (PressONE.ph)