Philippines health officials report the country has increased COVID-19 testing where testing laboratories have performed an average of 19,459 tests per day in the past week in the continuous ramp-up in the country’s testing capacity as part of its Covid-19 response.

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According to Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, a total of 889,066 tests have been conducted to date. “As of July 9, we already have 83 laboratories nationwide and we have 62 RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) laboratories and 21 GeneXpert laboratories,” she said.

Through July 9, the Philippines has reported 51,754 COVID-19 cases, including 1314 deaths.

China plague concerns

Earlier this week, it was reported that a bubonic plague case was confirmed in Inner Mongolia, China. On Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque spoke to the situation in a virtual presser in an attempt to quell fears among the public–“We are taking that seriously but don’t worry because the entry of foreigners is only on a case-to-case basis.

“Although foreigners can request, on an individual basis, if they have a valid reason to enter the Philippines, our borders remain closed,” he said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is “carefully monitoring” a case of bubonic plague in China’s northern Inner Mongolia region but says it is “not high risk”. The report on the confirmed case of bubonic plague came as the world continues to fight the Covid-19, which originated in China’s Wuhan last year.