Sa public address niya nitong Lunes, Disyembre 7, ipinahayag ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na mahalaga ang Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) tests upang makontamina ang paglaganap ng virus, kaya’t ipinag-utos niya kay Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III na humanap ng paraan upang maging libre ang naturang pagsusuri para sa mga Pilipino.
Sa kabila nito, hindi naman ikinakaila ng Pangulo na may kamahalan ang nasabing test.
“Kasi mahal, I’m trying to figure out a cheaper way of doing it and I will discuss it with the Secretary of Health and [Vaccine Czar] General [Carlito] Galvez, how to come up with a cheaper swabbing and testing kasi magbayad ka mahal lalo na sa airport,” paglalahad ng Pangulo.
Inatasan ni Pangulong Duterte si Health Secretary Duque na gumawa ng paraan kung paano maisasagawa ng pamahalaan ang planong libreng pagsusuri nang hindi humihingi ng ayuda galing sa mga pampribadong laboratoryo.
“Is there a way that we can spend for all of these tests? That it is actually, to me, the sacred duty of government — to protect its citizens. Tingnan ko kung may pera at magbili na lang tayo, and in all government hospitals or in health centers, maibigay natin libre. Free of charge,” saad ng Pangulo.
Nais din niyang magkaroon na ng programa tungkol sa naturang hakbang sa una o ikalawang quarter ng susunod na taon.
Dagdag pa rito, sinabi ng Pangulo na kinakailangang mas paigtingin pa ng gobyerno ang pagsisikap nito upang malimitahan ang pagkalat ng virus. Gayunpaman, batid niyang magiging isang malaking hamon ang masuri ang 60 milyong Pilipino.
“If we are to really avoid and limit the virus, the government itself must provide for the curative and palliative or whatever preventive, and one of those is really the swabbing para malaman [kung positibo] ka. You’re targeting 60 million Filipinos to be vaccinated. Okay. That’s no easy job. That is not a walk in the park and it will transcend maybe the whole of next year, 2021,” paliwanag ng Presidente.
Matatandaang noong nakaraang buwan lamang ay naglabas si Pangulong Duterte ng executive order na nag-uutos sa Department of Health at Trade and Industry na magtakda ng price cap para sa COVID-19 tests.
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