DOH thumbs down Marikina City’s COVID-19 testing center
MANILA, Philippines — The coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 testing center of Marikina City has been disapproved by the Department of Health (DOH), Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said Thursday.
According to Teodoro, he received a letter from the Office of the Secretary of DOH saying the facility should be located in a separate building.
“Hindi tayo inaprubahan, hindi tayo pinayagan ng Department of Health. Nakatanggap ako ng sulat galing sa Office of the Secretary ang sinasabi nila dapat daw kung meron kang testing facility o testing center ay merong nakahiwalay na gusali o building,” Teodoro said in an interview over dzBB.
(We were not approved. We were not allowed by the Department of Health. I received a letter from the Office of the Secretary saying that a testing facility should be in a separate building.)
Teodoro said the testing facility that they set up was located at the city health office’s sixth floor, which was vacated by all offices.
“’Yung buong palapag na ‘yun na sixth floor ng ating city health office ay wala nang ibang opisina, binakante na namin at tanging ‘yung testing center na lang ang naroon,” Teodoro said.
(The whole sixth floor of our city health office was vacated by other offices. It has already been allotted to the testing center alone.)
“Maski naka set up na, kumpleto na tayo sa gamit, may mga trained personnel na tayo, sumunod naman tayo sa biohazard protocols na hinihingi nila doon sa safety measures, ang dinahilan, ang sinasabi nila nakatupad naman kami, nakasunod naman kami sa lahat ng parameter, criteria ng isang molecular laboratory testing center pero naging problema raw yung lokasyon ng pasilidad,” he lamented.
(Although we already set it up, we have complete equipment, we have trained personnel, we followed biohazard protocols that they asked, they told us we complied with all the parameters and criteria of a molecular laboratory testing, but the problem is the location of the facility.)
With the rejection of their facility, Teodoro said they are willing to donate the equipment and testing kits they procured to DOH.
“Para mapakinabangan itong mga gamit, mga equipment, kung tatanggapin ng DOH, willing kami na ibigay sa kanila. Pati ‘yung mga test kits na aming nabili. Para pakinabangan po ng ating kababayan,” Teodoro said.
(To make good use of the equipment, we are willing to give these to the DOH. Even the test kits we bought so that the public could benefit from it.)
The local government spent 2.7 million for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine, and P3 million to P4 million for 3,000 testing kits, Teodoro said.
For him, it would be a shame to let these resources go to waste since the public, especially the marginalized, are the ones who will benefit from it.
“Ang dami po natin kababayan na gusto malaman kung sila ay positive o negative lalo na po yung marginalized, yung mga walang kakayahan pumunta sa pribadong ospital o walang access sa mga testing center,” Teodoro said.
(There are a lot of people who want to know if they are positive or negative, especially the marginalized who are not capable of going to private hospitals and do not have access to testing centers.)
DOH Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire earlier said the agency is willing to assist any local government units (LGUs) who are capable of setting up a laboratory center as such but ensuring the facility is safe from risks is a must.
Teodoro earlier lamented that DOH has yet to approve this city’s molecular laboratory for confirming COVID-19 cases.
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