A medical worker holds a sample as she tests a key worker for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at a drive-in testing center at Glasgow Airport on April 29, 2020. Image: Andrew Milligan/POOL/AFP

Celebrities continue to question the lack of mass testing in the country amid two months of community quarantines in the country.

“Ini-increase natin iyong capacity natin ng testing kaya nga we’re aiming na aabot tayo sa 30,000,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Malacañang televised briefing yesterday, May 18.

“Pero in terms of mass testing na ginagawa ng Wuhan na all 11 million, wala pa pong ganiyang programa at iniiwan natin sa pribadong sektor.”

(We’re increasing our testing capacity. We’re aiming to reach 30,000. But in terms of mass testing like what China is doing in Wuhan, testing all 11 million of its citizens there, we have no such program like that yet, and we leave it to the private sector.)

Personalities such Carlo Aquino, Frankie Pangilinan and Alex Diaz were among those who reacted to the statement from Roque.

“Ayoko magbayad ng tax… walang mass testing (I don’t want to pay my taxes… there is no mass testing),” actor Carlo Aquino wrote on Instagram Stories yesterday.

carlo aquino

Image: screengrab via Instagram/@jose_liwanag

“I am at a loss for words. Does this government even care for its people?! Mass testing is the only way we can move forward. No programs? Zero after these 2 months of ECQ?” model Kelly Misa wondered.

Actor Alex Diaz put into question the government’s budget for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis. “Hindi sapat ang 300b para sa mass testing (The P300 billion is not enough for mass testing)?”

Congress has set aside P270 billion to respond to the pandemic, which President Rodrigo Duterte said was “not enough” back in April.

Singer Frankie Pangilinan mused, “Like, this too shall pass, but it really can’t without mass testing tho.”

Roque has since clarified to CNN Philippines’ “The Source” that the government plans to test 1.5 to 2 percent of the country’s population, as South Korea has been able to achieve. The government aims to perform 30,000 tests daily by the end of May.  /ra

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