MANILA - Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Sunday called for expanded mass testing ahead of the anticipated lifting of strict quarantine measures in Metro Manila and other high-risk areas on May 15.
Sotto cited the case of the chamber as he expressed concern for most workers who would return to their jobs soon. Twenty Senate employees who reported for work last Monday tested positive for coronavirus using rapid tests kits.
“Magagabayan ng resulta ng mas malawak na mass testing ang ating mga lider para sila ay maghinay-hinay sa pagbuo ng desisyon ukol sa pagtanggal ng ECQ. The premature lifting of the strict quarantine regulation could lead to a worse second COVID-19 wave,” he said.
"Unless mass testing is conducted, we will not know if the person whom we have just talked with, or the person beside us at the grocery aisle or the lady who was pushing the cart before us is infected."
Sotto said the Senate employees have undergone confirmatory tests and medical aid would be provided to those who test positive.
“These employees duly complied with the stay-at-home order of the government. They just stayed inside their homes for almost two months," he said.
"Kung sila na nasa bahay lang at sumunod sa lahat ng health protocols ay nag-positive sa virus, siguradong mas malala ang pwedeng mangyari kung ma-lift na ang enhanced community quarantine at ang lahat ay papayagan ng lumabas ng kanilang mga bahay."
As of May 7, the Philippines has tested 137,055 persons for the coronavirus, according to the Department of Health.
The country as of Saturday recorded 10,610 cases of the disease, including 1,842 recoveries and 704 deaths.