Despite government promise, we reiterate: Free mass testing now!

April 15, 2020

Swift and decisive medical response will help us win the war against COVID-19. 

The first month of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), however, has exposed the slow-paced and indecisive efforts of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Duterte government to contain the spread of the disease. The DOH’s daily press conferences may keep the people informed about the number of COVID-19 cases, but mere statements cannot save lives. More than 20 doctors have died while fighting the deadly virus and many more health care professionals are braving the frontlines.

Changing categories for people in relation to the COVID-19 without sound basis, close-mindedness towards LGU innovations such as mass testing centers, slow and rigid distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) to our frontline health workers hinder us from trying to “flatten the curve.” 

Studies have shown that in order to reduce the spread of the virus, early detection through pro-active mass testing and immediate isolation of COVID-19 patients should be implemented. The DOH’s stained track record in responding to this health crisis sends intense fears to the public.

It is for these reasons that one of the most essential lessons that we have learned during this pandemic is that collectively taking a stand and speaking out for our demands are necessary to achieve results. We cannot put our lives and future in the government’s bloody and incompetent hands. We should strengthen our calls for mass testing and protection for all frontline health workers now.


(photo from Health workers from National Center for Mental Health)