Fury, facepalms, and a dash of head-scratching amusement erupted on social media today, after videos of Tiktok personality DJ Loonyo made viral rounds, in which he claimed that mass testing isn’t “100% proven” effective in fighting the coronavirus, and therefore “shouldn’t be mandatory.”
Well, that’s one way to send you on the top trending spot on Philippine Twitter.
The 24-year-old disc jockey and dancer more famous for his TikTok videos apparently thought you needed to ingest something in order to test if you had the coronavirus. He said as much in an interview that was posted yesterday.
“I don’t know [what kind of instruments] they’re using for mass testing. But if they’re making people drink it, whatever they’re trying to make them do, that is a trial and error that’s why it’s mass testing,” DJ Loonyo said in English and Filipino.
“I feel bad for whoever’s asked to do an intake. It’s not 100% proven. It shouldn’t be mandatory. It should be encouraged, but it will depend on you if you want to test it yourself,” he added.
Perhaps as a reminder to the DJ, PCR-based coronavirus tests are done by collecting fluid samples by inserting sterile swabs through a patient’s nose or mouth, while rapid test kits are done by pricking patients’ finger to draw blood samples.
Demands for mass testing, meanwhile have been widespread, especially with mounting cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, now nearing 19,000. With the clamor for tests, a number of (rightfully) alarmed Pinoys were quick to pounce on the misinformed anti-mass-tester.
“Can someone educate DJ Loonyo what mass testing is? He’s spreading misinformation about it and instilling fears among his followers.” @CoachClarkiee tweeted, referencing the young DJs millions of followers on various social platforms.
“Before you dance, please do your research first, googling is free,” he added.
Can someone educate DJ Loonyo what mass testing is? He’s spreading misinformation about it and instilling fears among his followers.
— Coach Clarke, CPT (@CoachClarkiee) June 2, 2020
Snarkier jabs were made by people like @SarahLuzarraga who called out, “all the hours spent on social media and DJ Loonyo still does not know what mass testing means.”
All the hours spent on social media and DJ Loonyo still does not know what mass testing means pic.twitter.com/6VsDNiCxAt
— Sarah Luzarraga (@SarahLuzarraga) June 3, 2020
Director Kip Oebanda pointed out, “Mass testing doesn’t mean they are testing drugs on you. It is not a vaccine…They’re testing you for the virus. You can’t die with a swab.”
Then scolded the DJ by tweeting, “If you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t try to influence people to do stupid things.”
DJ Loonyo… mass testing doesn't mean they are testing drugs on you. It is not a vaccine. WTF
They're testing you for the virus. You can't die with a swab. If you don't know what you are talking about, don't try to influence people to do stupid things like your anti-vaxx BS.
— Kip Oebanda (@kipoebanda) June 2, 2020
While @KrisDeyb thought the ill-informed statement might be giving the coronavirus a chuckle.
“…it’s a trial and error that’s why it’s mass testing” – DJ Loonyo
*Corona Virus right now pic.twitter.com/np1uEpEs8C
— #𝙹𝚞𝚗𝚔𝚃𝚎𝚛𝚛𝚘𝚛𝙱𝚒𝚕𝚕 (@KrisDeyb) June 2, 2020
All jokes aside, the country’s attempts at mass testing have been dismal. After nearly three months on lockdown, and billions spent, the Philippine government has said that it has no plans to conduct mass tests, citing difficulty in procuring test kits due to a global shortage.
A few weeks back, Malacañang Palace announced that it had surpassed its target of 30,000 swab tests a day by May 30, only to be corrected by the Department of Health (DOH) who said that the figure was an “estimated maximum capacity” of all licensed labs in the country, and not the actual tests.
According to figures by the DOH, the number of patients being tested daily stands at about 8,000 as of May 29. Far from the 10,000 tests daily target set by the Health Secretary Francisco Duque which the department failed to achieve at the end of April.
This article, Fury erupts after TikTok star DJ Loonyo says mass testing ‘shouldn’t be mandatory’, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!