Free, systematic community mass testing now!

March 21, 2020

Environmental group Earth Island Institute- Asia Pacific calls for the government to conduct Covid-19 Free and systematic mass testing for vulnerable communities to be able to detect, contact trace, isolate and cure confirmed patients. This is in connection with the World Health Organization pronouncement to immediately conduct massive testing to arrest the escalating cases of Covid-19 world-wide.

“The sorry state of our government’s health care services reveals that we are highly vulnerable to these pandemics. Thus, scientific approach of massive testing should be taken appropriately and seriously.” Aquino said in a press statement.

Aquino stresses that National Government’s bravado style response to COVID 19 deploying state’s combat personnel is insufficient and totally inappropriate. Without clear guidance and concrete actions to contain the spread of the virus this approach only underscore the ineptitude and lack of compassion of the administration to the people.

“Our government is focusing on quarantine measures, which is not enough. Only through mass testing we can identify the communities and individuals who are infected by the disease and effectively contain them and protect those who are not infected especially the vulnerable sectors” Aquino added

Free and systematic mass testing has been proven effective in South Korea were drive thru testing hubs were set up nationwide. About 12,000 to 15,000 individuals per day are attended by medical personnel or a total 292,487 individuals were tested as of March 19, 2020, that resulted to early detection and conducting proper intervention. Thus this methodology in dealing with the epidemiological situation resulted to South Korea’s low rate of mortality that is 1% or 94 individuals out of 8,652 positive cases.

The government must uphold our people’s resiliency through ensuring accessible and adequate health care and social services. Immediate COVID 19 medical training for community volunteers and barangay health workers in the far-flung and urban poor communities is also a key step in capacitating our health workers in effective localize response, epidemiological surveillance and testing.

“There should also be enough funds to fast track the production of COVID 19 testing kits and relief assistance if only the administration will able to maximize the P27.1 B COVID 19 Response Fund solely to its purpose. In social solidarity the Filipino people has proven its creativity in coping up with the situation and finding solution, the only aspect missing is the comprehensive and swift action of the national government for us to overcome this crisis” Aquino ended.

(Photo from

Statement by the Earth Island Institute Philippines