Palace spokesman Harry Roque announced on Monday that the Philippines has surpassed its target Covid-19 daily testing capacity of 30,000 Covid-19 as of May 20.

“Naabot na po natin ang 30,000 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests per day. Ang original target po ay 30,000 by May 30 pero noong May 20 po, nakaabot na po tayo sa 32,100 tests per day. Nalampasan po natin ang ating target,” Roque said in a televised briefing.

Roque also said the government aims to have 66 accredited laboratories by the end of May to ramp up Covid-19 testing. Currently, 34 licensed laboratories are operational.

“Our first step to increasing the number of daily tests conducted is to expand our testing capacity. This means more accredited laboratories and more automated machine so that we are capable of testing up to 30,000 plus per day,” Roque said in a clarificatory statement.

The next steps to improve laboratory efficiency, according to Roque, will be improving human resources through proficiency training, especially on the use of automated machines, improving supply chain management of critical supplies for laboratories and improving data management to verify and release results faster.

The government’s “expanded targeted testing” targets 1.5 to 2 percent of the country’s population.

As of May 24, the country has tallied 14,035 Covid-19 cases, with 3,249 recoveries and 868 deaths. John Ezekiel J. Hirro