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  • Marikina Designates New Building As COVID-19 Testing Center To Comply With DOH Rules

    It will be completed in two weeks.
    by Kitty Elicay .
  • Marikina City Mayor Marcy Teodoro announced on Monday, March 30, 2020, that they have found a new location for their proposed COVID-19 testing center after the Department of Health (DOH) turned down the local government’s original proposal.

    The newly-constructed two-storey building, located along Bayan-Bayanan Avenue in Barangay Concepcion Uno, was intended as a public safety center. The building “is a freestanding structure,” according to Teodoro, as reported by Manila Bulletin.

    “It is not located in a populated area and accessible. It is located along a main avenue in Marikina. In terms of location, I believe this is suitable to their requirements,” the mayor added. The building is set to be completed in two weeks.

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    Earlier, the DOH rejected the city’s plan to set up a testing laboratory on the sixth floor of the Marikina City Health Office, citing issues relating to “space and biosafety.”

    “Hindi naman naming magampanan sa ngayon na bigyan sila ng lisensiya dahil unang-una, nasa city hall ‘yung kanilang laboratory. Pangalawa, ‘yung biosafety standard hindi pa naman nasusunod,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.

    (We cannot give them a license because first, the laboratory is located inside the city hall. Second, the biosafety standard has not been followed.)

    Instead, Duque recommended that the testing center be housed in a separate building or inside a hospital.

    Marikina City’s testing center reportedly costs Php3.8-million and is “equipped with a polymerase chain reactor machine and other equipment that could be used to test COVID-19 cases,” according to ABS-CBN News. It can analyze 100 tests per day and it will also be open to nearby towns and cities like Pasig City and the Province of Rizal, who would want their residents to provide swab samples.

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    With regard to biosafety issues cited by the DOH, Teodoro assures that "We have a risk assessment template that we follow and we wimplement the highest standard as well as strict adherence of the protocols of biohazard measures," reports Manila Bulletin.

    "Aside from the trained personnel that we have, the layout of the laboratory is in compliance with the biohazard safety," the mayor added.

    Teodoro is pushing for the approval of the facility to help the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) and the other five DOH-accredited laboratories in identifying COVID-19-positive patients as quickly as possible.

    “Nakakatakot ‘yung nangyayari dahil sa bawat araw na dumadaan na walang testing center, marami tayong mga kababayan na nasa mahirap na kalagayan. May namamatay tayong kababayan hindi nila alam COVID positive na pala sila,” Teodoro said.

    (It is scary because more Filipinos are becoming helpless with each day that passes without the testing center. People are dying without knowing that they are COVID-positive.)

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    Find out what other local government units are doing to curb the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 here. For more stories on COVID-19, click here.

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