DOH: No policy on expedited COVID-19 testing for gov’t officials

Robie de Guzman

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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