Press Release

Gov’t intensifies isolation strategy with Oplan Kalinga; COVID-19 testing reaches 1M


COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms and those who are asymptomatic who do not have the ideal home quarantine set up can get in touch with their local government units (LGUs) and have themselves picked up and brought to a quarantine facility through the Oplan Kalinga program.

In his July 14 virtual press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr said that the announcement regarding Oplan Kalinga was made by Health Secretary Francisco Duque and Chief Testing Czar Secretary Vivencio Dizon in their recent visit to Taguig,

“Nilinaw po nila na ang pupwede lamang mag home quarantine ay yung mayroong sariling kwarto, mayroong sariling toilet at wala po kasamang matanda o hindi naman kaya may sakit or buntis sa kanilang mga tahanan,” said Secretary Roque.

The Palace spokesman and concurrent IATF spokesperson emphasized that all three conditions must be met for home quarantine. “Kung mayroon po [kasama sa bahay na kabilang sa vulnerable group] at wala po sariling kwarto, walang sariling banyo, ang Oplan [Kalinga] po ay sila na po ang susundo sa atin at magdadala po sa mga isolation centers,” stressed Sec Roque.

Oplan Kalinga is a program launched by the national government to accommodate COVID-19 patients who do not have their own room and own toilet where they can isolate themselves, or for those who have household members who are elderly, with existing diseases, and pregnant women. This is to reduce the risk of more infections in the household and communities, and to identify and isolate infected individuals in proper isolation and quarantine facilities.

“Air-conditioned po lahat ang isolation centers natin. Libre ang pagkain at mayroon pang libreng wifi. So sa lahat po ng asymptomatic or mild na walang sariling kwarto or walang sariling banyo, may kasamang matanda, buntis or mayroong karamdaman, welcome po kayo sa ating mga isolation centers,” said Sec Roque.

In the same press briefing, the Palace official announced that the country has already conducted one million COVID-19 tests. “Umabot na po sa isang milyon ang ating na-test sa pamamagitan ng PCR. Nakaka-25,000 na po tayo kada-araw na actual testing at malapit na po tayo sa target natin na 30,000 PCR tests daily,” Sec Roque said.

Sec Roque also announced that Mactan-Cebu International Airport has started the operation of its molecular laboratory, making it the first airport in the country with a dedicated PCR testing capability.

“Kaya ng lab na mag-process ng 1,500 to 3,000 tests kada araw at kayang makuha ang test results sa loob ng bente kuwatro (24) oras – ito po ang shortest time in the country to release swab test results,” said Sec Roque of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport’s molecular laboratory.

Secretary Roque underscored that turnaround time for test results has improved not just in Cebu’s international airport but even in other LGUs and for some private companies.

‘“In fact po ang pag-aantay natin ngayon sa resulta 24 hours. Sa Taguig po ganyan ang polisiya, 24 hours. Ako po nagpa swab rin ako, yung before today, nagpa-swab ako sa Sta. Ana, programa po ng Manila government, 24 hours po kuha ang resulta. Ang San Miguel Foundation po para sa mga emopleyado nila at mga pribadong indibidwal, nakukuha rin po ng 24 hours,” Roque said.

Also in the same press briefing, Mayor Lino Cayetano of Taguig presented the LGU’s testing strategy which follows what they call a SMART Testing Framework which is being done through a barangay-based testing and drive-thru testing. Mayor Cayetano said that Taguig City alone can conduct up to 1,000 swab tests per day. ### OPS-PCOO