March 11 ------ One thousand testing kits for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were expected to arrive during the week, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Tuesday. Donated by the World Health Organization, the incoming kits would add to the country's existing 2,000 testing kits. "[W]e have forthcoming deliveries, so sa katunayan po ngayong linggo dadating po 'yung isang libo pa na ipinangako ng World Health Organization na mga kits para ibigay sa RITM," Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Balitanghali.
Vergeire also revealed that they were in the process of procuring even more kits. "We have already estimated a total number po ng pangangailangan ng RITM, at ito nga po kasama doon sa hinihinging budget ngayon sa kasamang ahensya ng gobyerno," Vergeire explained. The DOH had requested for an additional P139 million in funding for the purchase of 40,000 virus testing kits. Meanwhile, the assistant secretary was unaware of any assistance coming from Japan.
"Hindi pa ho namin natatanggap 'yung ganyang donation or information, that there is this assistance coming from Japan," she clarified. Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 33 on Tuesday. Vergeire also reported that 440 repatriates from the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess would be released on Wednesday after completing the 14-day quarantine. Five of the 445 repatriates, however, were still being monitored in referral hospitals after showing symptoms for the virus.