Govt to set up 4 mega swabbing centers in Metro Manila, Bulacan
MANILA, Philippines — The government will set up four mega swabbing centers next week in Metro Manila and Bulacan to boost the country’s capacity to do massive testing for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The swabbing centers will be set up at the Philippine Sports Stadium inside the Philippine Arena (north), the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City (south), Enderun Colleges in Taguig City (east), and the Palacio de Maynila Tent in Roxas Boulevard (west), according to Bases Conversion and Development Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Vince Dizon.
“Ang testing ay top priority ng ating Pangulo at ni Secretary Galvez at ng buong IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases). Kaya kailangan nating magtayo ng mega swabbing centers,” Dizon said during the turnover of the Philippine Arena in Bulacan to the government as a quarantine facility on Thursday.
A total of 250 testing booths will be set up inside these centers, according to Dizon.
He said buses will ferry those who will be brought to the swabbing centers through the help of the Department of Transportation. The specimens will be sent to COVID-19 testing laboratories.
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered that all provinces be covered by the mass testing, said National Task Force COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
“Sa mga susunod na araw, iikot po kami sa Luzon, Visayas, at Mindanao para tignan ang pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan (In the next days, we will go to Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to see the needs of residents there [for testing],” he said.
The government’s approach in the mass testing for the disease is “focused and targeted,” said Galvez, prioritizing immediate family members of COVID-19 patients, suspected and probable cases, frontliners, and persons under monitoring (PUMs) who had close contact with confirmed cases.
Earlier, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) opened two molecular laboratories in its office in Mandaluyong City. The laboratories can run up to 8,000 tests per day.
The Philippine Red Cross-Molecular Laboratory in Clark, Pampanga meanwhile will have three polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines, capable of conducting up to 1,500 tests per day once fully operational.
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