By Manny Mogato, News5 editor at large
(April 8, 2020) – The Philippines planned to screen 10,000 people daily by the end of April to determine the extent of the coronavirus infection in the resources-starved Southeast Asian country, as the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine period was extended as cases and deaths related to the highly contagious respiratory disease steadily rises.
Retired general Carlito Galvez, the government’s chief implementor of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response, said the various molecular laboratories processing virus samples would be capable of turning out daily results of up to 10,000 within the next three months.
Galvez, a former armed forces chief who commanded troops in the five-month battle in Marawi City against pro-Islamic State militants in 2017, said they target to distribute 900,000 testing kits to conduct mass testing of people at-risk of infection—including health workers, soldiers, police officers, and other people in the frontlines of the war against the pandemic.
In the next three weeks, Galvez said the national task force will continue to closely monitor the status of referral hospitals, testing laboratories, and quarantine facilities in the capital region and nearby regions in preparation for the planned mass testing.
However, the national task force has not announced how many people will be screened to get a complete picture of the extent of the infection. Earlier, the World Health Organization projected about 75,000 people will be infected in the Philippines in the next five weeks by the first week of May.
There were independent studies made by scientists and mathematicians from the University of the Philippines which showed as many as 250,000 people can be infected by the virus, which originated from Wuhan in central China.
During a visit at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), the government’s main laboratory for testing coronavirus, Galvez learned about the need for proper storage of COVID-19 testing kits as well as inadequate manpower and limited logistic capability.
“We will find a solution to the storage problem,” he promised RITM officials. “Let us tap the private sector. For the additional manpower, let’s do it under emergency hiring. Focus on testing and we’ll take care of the logistics.”
As the Department of Health (DOH) ramps up its mass testing of persons under investigation (PUIs) and persons under monitoring (PUMs), the national task force promised to make sure the quarantine facilities designed to decongest hospitals are fully equipped and ready to receive patients.
Four large facilities will be ready by next week to house persons suspected to have been infected or those who are categorized as PUIs and PUMs: the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, the World Trade Center, and Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
Two private hospitals, the St Luke’s Medical Center and the Medical City, have been allowed to conduct coronavirus testing augmenting the capacity of RITM and seven other public hospitals across the country to screen people at risk of infection.
Our Privacy Commitment
TV5 Network Inc. values and respects your right to privacy. We are committed to safeguarding your personal data in compliance with Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.
Why do we collect your personal information (as applicable)?
We collect and maintain basic information about you as users of TV5 sites for the following purposes:
Where do we get your personal information?
There are several ways we collect your personal information.
Information that you personally provided.
Most of the personal information we have are those that you have provided us when you:
Information we collect during your engagement with us
We also collect information as you use our products and services, like:
Information we collect from other sources
We also collect your personal information through other activities such as our market research initiatives, when you visit and use our websites and mobile apps, and from our subsidiaries, affiliates, and third-party business partners to whom you have given consent to share your information to us.
When do we disclose personal information?
There are circumstances when we are required to share some of the information you have provided us. In these cases, we ensure that your personal information will be disclosed on a confidential manner, through secure channels that is in compliance with the Data Privacy Act and other privacy laws.
In some instances, we may be required to disclose your personal information to our agents, subsidiaries, affiliates, business partners and other third-party agencies and service providers as part of our regular business operations and for the provision of our programs and services. This means we might share your information with:
How we protect your personal information
We also put in effect the following safeguards:
TV5 will not collect, use, or disclose your personal information for any purpose other than those identified in this Commitment, your Service Agreement or our Terms of Service, and any other purpose that you may have given your consent for.
For greater clarity, unless you provide specific consent, we shall not:
What are your choices?
You are given certain rights in relation to your personal data under the Data Privacy Act. We would like to ensure that we have your consent to continue to collect, use, and disclose your personal information for the purposes that we have identified. We want you to know that you do have choices and can object or withdraw your consent and/or edit your consent preferences at any time.
If you wish to have access to your personal information in our records; or you think that such personal information we have of you is incomplete, not up-to-date, or otherwise inaccurate, you may get in touch with our Data Privacy Officer through the contact details provided below. In some instances, we may request for supporting documents or proof before we effect any requested changes to your personal information.
Data Protection Officer
TV5 Network Inc.
Reliance corner Sheridan Streets
What happens when there are changes in our Policy?
You will always be provided notice if these changes are significant and, if we are required by law, we will ensure to obtain your updated consent.