Netizen strongly criticizes Leni Robredo’s ‘sobrang bagal kasi natin’ remark on covid testing

“Sobrang bagal kasi natin.”

This is how Vice President Leni Robredo described the the Philippine response to covid-19, raising the eyebrows and the blood pressures of the DDS, including Manila Bulletin writer Krizette Laureta Chu.

Robredo remarked that she was glad the country is the highest in the ASEAN region in terms of conducting covid testing. However, she said the virus could have been stopped if as early as March, the government conducted 30,000 per day. You may check the meme below from News5 to read the entire statement of the Vice President.

On that note, Manila Bulletin writer Krizette Laureta Chu couldn’t help but take the initiative to tell the Vice President that even if the country wanted to conduct massive testing as early as March as she wished, it was not possible because we don’t have a strong medical diagnostics industry left by the previous administration at DOH. Besides, the covid testing was not perfected yet around March from sources like China and in the US. It was only in April when the US National Institutes of Health earmarked $1.5B for coronavirus test.

‘Gustuhin man po natin yung wish mo na dapat nag massive testing na nung March, hindi po pwede kasi wala naman tayong malakas na medical diagnostics industry na iniwan sa atin ng mga nakaraang administration at DOH. Hindi pa rin perfected yung tests around March from sources like China, and in US, April palang nag earmark Ang US National Institutes of Health ng US$1.5 billion for coronavirus tests.’

Ms. Chu also explained that in March, there were shortages of supplies necessary for conducting covid testing which resulted in the congestion of production. At that time, the country do not desperately need these supplies other than the EU countries and China, which were figuratively fighting to get the supplies first.

‘Nung March, nagkaroon ng shortages of reagent and other supplies which caused a bottleneck in production. Hindi pa tayo sobrang nangangailangan non, mga EU countries and China palang nag aagawan.’

Not to mention, the US started widespread testing by March.

‘Tapos March lang din nag start ng widespread testing ang US.’

Chu said that China also encountered issues with the production of its RT PCR. ‘China mandin nagka problema sa production ng RT PCR nila, they found out many of those tested in Wuhan were returning inaccurate tests.’

Other countries that purchased from China around March, including the Philippines had complaints. ‘Yung ibang country sa China nag order around March, may reklamo, including tayo.’

Countries like Turkey and the Czech/Slovakia too had their own complaints. Spain had to scramble to find another supplier. ‘Ayan, nag reklamo yung Turkey and Czech/Slovakia. Spain also, so they had to look for another supplier.’

Chu said some European countries like Germany conducted massive testing because they have strong medical diagnostics laboratories. But they only started towards the latter part of March.

‘Yung ibang European countries like Germany, massive yung testing nila because malakas ang medical diagnostics laboratories nila. They had the testing labs and the technology. Pero around March 22 lang sila nakapag test ng around 120,000 (PER WEEK HA).’

Chu remarked that the only country who could do massive testing at the scale of China was UAE. ‘March 31, the UAE became the first country outside of China to be able to do massive testing at the scale that China could do it.’

Not the EU, not Uncle Sam and of course the poor Philippines.

‘Not the super overwhelmed European countries, not the US, and definitely not poor little Philippines.’ Chu reiterated what she has been trying to tell Robredo from the get go, the Philippines, even if we wanted to, would not be able to do massive testing, the world didn’t have either as even China had faulty tests.

‘So bale Mama Leni, even if we wanted to, the world didn’t have the capacity to do massive testing as even China had faulty tests.’

‘Hindi pa rin perfect ang tests nun so hindi rin tayo kaya mag-arangkada,’ Chu added.

Ms. Chu informed Robredo that the covid-19 test is not the same as the pregnancy. She went on to explain the rigid requirements of running RT-PCR tests that poses a huge challenge to even wealthy nations like the US wherein providers reported severe shortage of test kits and required materials like nose swabs and reagents.

‘Hindi po parang pregnancy test yung Covid 19 test.
According to research, “RT-PCR tests requires trained personnel, specific chemical supplies, and expensive instruments that take hours to provide results and are often available only in labs that provide routine, centralized services. This limits the number of tests that can be done, especially in developing countries. Even in wealthy regions such as the United States, providers have reported a severe shortage of test kits and required materials — from nose swabs to chemical reagents — because of supply-chain problems. Scaling up reliable tests quickly has proved challenging, too: early RT-PCR tests developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention malfunctioned, for example, leading to a series of delays.”’

Chu wished Robredo should have ended her sentence wherein she said she was glad to find out we have conducted the highest test in the ASEAN region.

‘Sana tinapos nyo na lang yung sentence nyo sa “Sa ASEAN ngayon tayo ang pinaka Maraming tests, nung nakita ko natuwa ako.”’

Chu hoped Robredo had done so but since Robredo is entitled to her own opinion. Likewise, Chu said she is entitled to say that Robredo’s statement is wrong.

‘Sana ganon nalang. Pero may freedom of speech naman po kayo, go lang. May freedom of speech din po ako to say this na mali kayo.’

Chu ended the FB post by saying thanks to the VP in a sarcastic tone.

‘Thank you for your very helpful comments always.’

But Chu wasn’t done yet. She updated her post to tell Robredo the great progress made by the Philippines in terms of building covid testing facilities that brought us to where it is now, the number 1 country in SEA region in covid testing.

PS: ito pa Po Mama Leni

Ito pa, Mama Leni, according to s reader:

“More than the materials and tools required for the tests, what we lack was the number of labs. We started at 0. Remember we had to send the specimen to Australia. Slowly we build it to reach 101. There are 76 certified polymerase chain reaction facilities and 24 GeneXpert laboratories that had tested a total of 1,647,735 individuals.”

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Source: Krizette Chu

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