Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, and Cebu cities to test 10% of total households for COVID-19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 19) — The cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, and Cebu are eyeing to test 46,000 households or 10 percent of the cities' total households in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in these areas, an official said Tuesday.

"Yung [The] 46,000 households is equivalent to 10 percent of the entire households in the tricities," Assistant Secretary Jonji Gonzales of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas said Tuesday at the Laging Handa briefing. "One per household ang dapat itest [should be tested]. Sa ngayon [For now], Cebu City is at 50 percent of their test. Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu are almost hitting 100 percent."

He added they are targeting a "sweeper test" in Cebu City.

"Para lang yung mga konti yung mga test na ginawa sa Cebu City ay mabalikan yung mga barangay na 'yun at magkaroon ng test para we will get 100 percent," he explained but added the DOH has told them a 70 percent threshold would be enough.

[Translation: So that those areas in Cebu City which only had a few tests done, we could go back to those barangays and conduct tests so we can reach the 100 percent.]

Gonzales said they hope to hit their target in the next three days.

At a press conference on Monday night, Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia said Cebu City recorded 33 new cases while Cebu Province has 10 new infections. Lapu-Lapu City, on the other hand, had five new cases while Mandaue City listed three new infections.

With the new cases announced, Cebu now has a total of 2,049 COVID-19 infections.

In April, the Philippines rolled out its first wave of the "progressive" expanded testing, where high-risk patients have been prioritized. These are people showing severe flu-like symptoms; the elderly, those with pre-existing health conditions, and pregnant women with mild symptoms; and healthcare workers with respiratory symptoms.

To date, the country has recorded over 12,000 cases of the infectious disease.

Stringer Dale Israel contributed to this report.