MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday clarified it has no policy on expedited testing for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) of selected government officials in the country.
In a statement, the DOH assured the public there is no policy for VIP treatment and that “all specimens are being processed on a first-in, first-out basis.”
But it said courtesy will be accorded to “officials holding positions of national security and public health.”
The statement was issued following reports that some politicians took COVID-19 tests despite being asymptomatic amid a limited number of test kits in the country.
The department also said that under its screening protocols, only the following are allowed to get tested for COVID-19:
- Persons under investigation (PUI) with mild symptoms who are elderly, with underlying conditions, are immunocompromised; and
- Admitted PUIS in severe and critical conditions.
“These are extraordinary times, but we are hopeful that with the arrival of 100,000 testing kits and accreditation of additional sub-national laboratories and dedicated COVID-19 referral hospitals, more cases will be detected and appropriately managed,” the DOH said.
As of Monday, the Philippines has reported 462 confirmed coronavirus infections, with 33 fatalities and 18 recoveries.
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