MANILA – More than two-thirds of the 1,000 Metro Manila residents interviewed for the second run of the NCR COVID-19 Online Panel Survey said they want the government to launch a COVID-19 mass testing program that includes people who have not yet shown any COVID-19 symptoms.
68.3% of the 1,000 respondents interviewed between April 13-18, 2020 said they support mass testing that includes those without COVID-19 symptoms. 30.5% said they prefer targeted testing limited to those who are presenting COVID-19 symptoms. Only 1.2% of respondents said they do not want the government to conduct a wider testing program.
“These results suggest that the targeted testing program recently launched by the national government under the new Suspect-Probable-Confirmed case classification system may not be enough to satisfy public clamor for truly wide-scale mass testing in Metro Manila, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines,” said Mr. Aureli Sinsuat, PUBLiCUS Executive Director and spokesperson.
While Sinsuat acknowledged that the country’s daily COVID-19 testing capacity has improved significantly over the past few weeks, he said it was unlikely that the government would be able to start a wide-scale mass testing program at the moment.
“A more reasonable target for the government in the short-term would be to resolve any existing targeted testing backlogs while working towards building the testing capacity required to undertake mass testing of asymptomatic individuals,” Sinsuat said.
“Every COVID-19 test the government conducts brings us one small step closer to flattening the curve and allowing Filipinos to gradually return to their normal lives. Testing would also be a critical component of a science-based decision tool to identify low-risk areas where restrictive quarantine measures can be lifted,” he added.
The NCR COVID-19 Online Panel Survey is an independent non-commissioned tracking survey designed by PUBLiCUS and VOX Opinion Research (VOX). The survey data was processed and analyzed by VOX, the in-house strategic research arm of PUBLiCUS.
The survey aims to gauge public opinion and perceptions on the following key indicators: Living Standards and Needs during the ECQ; National Government Performance; Local Government Performance; Existing/Proposed COVID-19 Policies.
The online fieldwork of the survey was conducted in partnership with Lightspeed Research/Kantar of Singapore. Lightspeed provided an online panel of 1,000 Metro Manila residents aged 18-70 from its pool of 100,000 Philippine panelists. The number of respondents per city was distributed proportionally based on official population data.
Lightspeed is now the Asia-Pacific headquarters of Kantar, a leading firm in the global data industry with a panel reach of 88 million respondents in 90 markets worldwide according to its website.
More information on the purposive sampling methodology and panel selection process of the survey can be found here.
Reference: Mr. Aureli C. Sinsuat, PUBLiCUS Executive Director