By John Ezekiel J. Hirro

The country’s “expanded targeted testing” strategy now looks to find and test more asymptomatic cases to maximize daily testing capacity of almost 42,000, Bases Conversion and Development Authority president Vince Dizon said Thursday.

Of the total capacity, only 10,000 tests were being administered daily, Dizon said in a virtual briefing.

“Noon pong mga nakaraang buwan, ang nati-test lang po talaga natin ay iyong mga kababayan natin na nagma-manifest po ng sintomas – may lagnat, may sipon, may ubo. Ngayon po, dahil sa malaking capacity na natin nationwide, lalo na po sa Visayas at sa Mindanao, puwede na po tayong lumampas pa sa mga may sintomas,” he said.

Dizon said 98 percent of Covid-19 cases worldwide were asymptomatic to mild, and only 2 percent were critical cases.

The government will expand testing in two ways: conducting community-based testing in densely populated areas and wider testing of medical and non-medical frontliners, he said.

“[A]ng frontliners natin… ang transport workers; ang ating mga law enforcers, ang atin pong mga kapulisan; at ang ating mga men in uniform – men and women in uniform; ang ating mga guwardiya sa mga malls, sa mga opisina; ang ating mga cashiers sa ating mga tindahan at supermarket. Lahat po sila ay kailangan po ngayon ay i-test na rin natin kahit po wala silang sintomas,” Dizon said.

“Kailangan po talagang itaas natin ito at magagawa natin ito kapag mas agresibo tayo at mas proactive tayo sa pagti-test sa ating mga asymptomatic,” he added.

However, Dizon cited the difficulty of acquiring more testing kits, as demand worldwide remained high.

The country targets a 50,000 daily testing capacity by end-June.

As of June 4, the country has recorded 20,382 Covid-19 cases with 4,248 recoveries and 984 deaths.