DOH not against Marikina’s COVID-19 testing lab
MANILA, Philippines – While it is open to certifying Marikina City’s laboratory testing center for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Department of Health (DOH) said it has yet to ensure the facility’s safety from any risks.
DOH Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire on Wednesday said the agency is willing to assist local government units (LGUs) that are capable of setting up a similar facilities.
“Hindi po sa ayaw natin payagan. Gusto po natin linawin na bukas na bukas po tayo para magkaroon kung sino po ang may capacity na gumawa nito para matulungan ang gobyerno,” Vergeire said in a public briefing.
(It’s not that we don’t want to allow them to operate. We want to clarify that we are open to anyone who has the capacity to do this and help the government.)
Vergeire pointed out. that the DOH, which is a regulatory agency, wants to ensure that Marikina City can strictly comply with its standards since the testing center poses biosafety risks.
“Ang atin pong mga ginagawang proseso para matest ang COVID-19 sa isang laboratoryo is highly technical, it has biosafety issues and it has biosafety risks,” Vergeire explained.
(The process that we’re doing is to test for COVID-19 in a laboratory is highly technical, it has biosafety issues and it has biosafety risks.)
“Gusto lang po natin siguraduhin na maka-comply po ang ating mga laboratoryo kasama na po ang ating city government of Marikina sa ating mga pamantayan. Pagkatapos nono, maaari na po silang mag-operate kung makaka – comply na po sila,” she added.
(We just want to make sure that the city government of Marikina can comply to our standards. After that, they may be allowed to operate.)
Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro earlier rued that the DOH has yet to approve the operation of the LGU’s molecular laboratory for confirming COVID-19 cases.
As of Tuesday, Teodoro said Marikina has over 212 persons under monitoring (PUM) for the virus who need to be tested.
Nationwide, there are 552 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 35 deaths and 20 recoveries.
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