Malacañang on Wednesday admitted that the Philippine Red Cross’ temporary suspension of its free testing services “somehow contributed” to the decline in Covid-19 cases over the past weeks.

“Well, I’m sure somehow the acts or the action of PRC in stopping their testing, somehow contributed, because less testing, of course, means less numbers,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

The Philippines saw a 25-percent drop in Covid-19 cases reported daily in the second half of October, according to the Department of Health.

The average daily case count in the first half of October was at 2,517. It dropped to 1,887 the past two weeks.

PRC’s suspension of free Covid-19 tests due to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.’s accumulation of an almost P1-billion debt ran from Oct. 15 to Oct. 28.

But Roque said the decline in administered tests was not the sole reason for lower Covid-19 numbers.

“I think by and large, people have been compliant with minimum health standards and of course, we have the President no less endorsing in a commercial that people should wear mask, should wash hands and should observe social distancing,” he said.

“I think people know by now, what to do to prevent the further spread of the disease and they have been cooperating,” Roque added.

In a September survey, the Social Weather Stations found that 79 percent of Filipinos had been compliant with the government’s health protocols against Covid-19, such as the wearing of face masks and shields, physical distancing and frequent handwashing. John Ezekiel J. Hirro