Manila gov’t setting up its own COVID-19 testing center
MANILA, Philippines — The Manila government is mulling establishing its own COVID-19 testing facility to ramp up its efforts to identify and isolate patients infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“This is our long-term plan for you for the city. We will have our own PCR [polymerase-chain reaction] machine in the coming days,” Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said in his City Address aired on Saturday.
“As we speak today, the laboratory area is now being built as a preparation of your city government in the coming months of our lives that COVID-19 is part of our lives,” he added, speaking partly in Filipino,
Moreno said the local government was looking to put up the molecular laboratory at the Sta. Ana Hospital in Manila, which is the second largest government hospital in the city.
“While we are having partnerships with the national government, private sectors, medical institutions, we will also put up our own testing laboratory at the Sta. Ana Hospital,” he said.
“This is to strengthen and level up our confirmation ability to test via a PCR machine, if they are positive or not, which is why we will have this testing facility. This I guarantee you,” he added.
The hospital has a 300-bed capacity with 33 isolation wards and its own infectious disease control center, the Department of Health (DOH) said on its website.
Currently, the localized mass testing in the city government is coordinating with the Department of Health’s Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM) or the University of the Philippines Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) to process its swab tests.
As of Saturday, the capital city has posted 997 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including 163 recoveries and 89 deaths.
In Metro Manila, Marikina is the first city to establish its own molecular laboratory to augment its COVID-19 mass testing capacity. The city government secured DOH’s accreditation for the laboratory before it was allowed to operate.
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