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Now Reading: NOT UP TO STANDARDS | DOH thumbs down Marikina COVID-19 testing center
NOT UP TO STANDARDS | DOH thumbs down Marikina COVID-19 testing center
March 26, 2020 , 08:37 PM

(March 26, 2020) – For failing to meet its standards, the health department disapproved of the use of Marikina City’s proposed coronavirus testing center, part of the local government unit’s initiative to contain the spread of the disease in the city.

Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque said the facility did not meet the space and biosafety requirements for testing centers, specifically mentioning its non-ideal location on the sixth floor of the city’s health office.

“Tutulungan sila ng [Research Institute for Tropical Medicine] kung papaano magpatayo ng isang facility na nakasunod sa guidelines on biosafety,” Duque said.

The department recommended that they relocate the testing laboratory, or to utilize the facilities of the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center instead.

Mayor Marcy Teodoro earlier appealed to the national government to allow the operation of their testing facility as soon as possible to address the need for mass testing.

Confirmed cases of the highly contagious virus in the country has ballooned to 707 on Thursday afternoon and has already killed 45 people. Only 28 Filipinos have recovered from the disease so far.

‘”Yung City Health Office ay nagbigay tayo ng isang exclusive elevator doon, isang buong palapag ay nakalaan sa laboratoryo natin sa Marikina City COVID testing center,” Teodoro responded. “Pero hindi pa rin ito pinayagan ng DOH, ang sinasabi nila, kailangan magtayo ng isang hiwalay at bagong gusali para sa COVID Testing Center,” he said.

The mayor argued that the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) also houses its administrative offices and medical facilities in one building, making it a “co-shared facility.”

But Teodoro said the city will follow the recommendations of the DOH to allow the marginalized sectors’ access to COVID-19 testing.

“Kailangan ma-test ang ating mga kababayan kung may COVID sila para sa ganon, ang kinakailangang supportive treatment ay maibigay, para sa ganon ay ma-isolate sila at ma-contain—hindi na sila makahawa sa kanilang mahal sa buhay,” Teodoro said. (Karen Macalalad/JMF)

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