Doc appeals to politicians: Stop pressuring DOH to prioritize you for COVID-19 tests

  • Dr. Edsel Salvan asked politicians to stop pressuring the DOH to prioritize them for COVID-19 testing
  • He said only two considerations are allowed to be prioritized; If you’re a health worker or if you hold a “critical government” post
  • The doctor said RITM is only capable of processing 1,000 tests a day

A doctor extends her appeal to politicians to stop asking the Department of Health (DOH) to priortize them for COVID-19 testings.

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Dr. Edsel Salvana, an infectious disease expert, asked politicians to stop asking the DOH officials to prioritize them for COVID-19 diagnostic tests.

Dr. Salvana said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV, “Pinapakiusapan lang po namin ‘yung mga politician na huwag ninyo pong i-pressure ‘yung Department of Health.”

“Alam naman po natin hawak nila [politicians] ‘yung budget pero kung ipe-pressure ninyo tapos bumigay ‘yun nga po ang nangyayari,” he added.

Dr. Salvana’s statement came after the public’s uproar over the immediate COVID-19 testing of several politicians while those who are considered persons under monitoring (PUM) continue to wait for the availability of testing kits. Many netizens cried foul over the alleged prioritizing of politicians even though many of them were asymptomatic.

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Dr. Salvana, who leads the technical advisory group of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, explained that there are only two grounds for a person to be prioritized in the COVID-19 testing despite being asymptomatic.

The first consideration is if the person is a health worker while the second is if he/she holds a “critical government” post.

“Unang-una health care workers tapos ‘yung pangalawa ‘yung critical government officials—at ‘yun may discretion ang Department of Health, pero ang problema rin po diyan, intindihin po natin, siyempre sino bang may hawak ng budget ng Department of Health?” Dr. Salvana said.

Dr. Salvana said that the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and other sub-national laboratories in the country have the capacity to process only 1,000 tests every day.

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