Sen. Panfilo Lacson urged the Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to act with urgency and flexibility to resolve the 2019 Coronavirus Disease problem in the Philippines.
“With a population of 107 million, the worst is yet to come unless DOH and FDA act with urgency,” Lacson warned in a statement,
The senator said that South Korea managed to slow the increase of new COVID-19 cases by mass testing, and mentioned that only around 1,500 Filipinos in the Philippines have been tested for COVID-19 as of Monday, March 23.
Lacson also pointed out that rapid hundreds of thousands of test kits donated by local businessmen, South Korea, and China arrived in Philippines at least a week ago but a big volume is being held by the Bureau of Customs.
The senator mentioned that these testing kits have already been used in other countries, and have been certified by their regulatory agencies.
Lacson also slammed FDA for refusing to issue even a provisional accreditation ‘which is needed so those test kits can be distributed for use particularly by those who have symptoms or those who have had direct contact with infected persons’.
The lawmaker added that people who test positive for COVID-19 can immediately practice self-isolation which can prevent or at least minimize the spread of COVID-19.
“That, instead of overly restrictive regulations imposed by our DOH, will certainly help obviate a possibly uncontrollable spread of the COVID-19,” Lacson insisted.