By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Philippines Department of Health (DOH) recorded 607 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the total to 25,392. The death toll rose to 1,074 following the 22 new reported deaths.

Earlier this week, the Philippine government announced they were “aggressively” establishing more laboratories for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing. “We’re still aggressively pursuing the establishment of more laboratories because we don’t have enough,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview.

The country currently has 54 laboratories that have been accredited by the DOH to conduct independent testing for COVID-19.  As of June 4, there are 140 laboratories that are currently being evaluated in a bid to boost the country’s testing capacity.

National Task Force against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon announced on June 4 the government’s plan to raise the testing capacity to 50,000 per day by the end of this month.

This, after Dizon said the Philippines’ capacity to conduct tests for COVID-19 has increased to nearly 42,000 a day.

The DOH on Saturday warned the public about purchasing and using uncertified rapid test kits for COVID-19. “The selling and the use of these rapid antibody tests are becoming prevalent. We need to be sure that administering these kits, first, and foremost, they should be registered with the Food and Drug Administration”, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

She noted that even FDA-registered test kits need further validation from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to ensure that its results are accurate.