March 29 ------ The Philippines lags behind its neighbors in Southeast Asia in terms of the number of COVID-19 tests conducted. Data from the Department of Health’s COVID-19 trackers showed the Philippines has so far conducted 2,147 tests as of March 26, 2020. The number of COVID-19 tests conducted in the Philippines, however, is significantly lower than its peers in the region.
Data from Vietnam’s Ministry of Health dashboard on COVID-19 statistics showed it has so far conducted 30,548 tests. Singapore, meanwhile, has done 39,000 tests, translating to 6,800 tests per million, according to its Health Minister Gan Kim Yong. Thailand has conducted 10,343 tests as of latest available data. Malaysia has, likewise, done a total of 21,885 tests as of March 25, 2020.
The Department of Health earlier admitted that it could be missing half of the actual total number of COVID-19 cases in the country due to the limited testing capacity of laboratories. Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Philippines is now able to conduct almost 1,000 tests for COVID-19 every day after several sub-national laboratories became operational. The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines climbed to 707, with a death toll of 45 while total of 28 patients have already recovered from the disease.