Marikina to set up testing center for early detection of COVID-19

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2020 10:23 PM

MANILA - Marikina City will set up a laboratory testing center for early detection of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), its mayor announced Friday.

Mayor Marcy Teodoro said in a statement they partnered with Manila Health Tek Inc., the country's first private biotechnology firm, for the testing center. According to the local executive, Manila Health Tek is where Marikina is procuring its 3,000 COVID-19 testing kits.

“Ito ay agad para agad-agad ma-test natin ang persons under monitoring or PUMs. This will liberate a person after ma-test nito. Ito ang ganda nito, hindi na siya mag-aaalala pa,” Teodoro said.

Doctors of the Marikina City Health Office will be trained by the scientist and doctors of the Manila Health Tek, Inc., according to Teodoro. The firm will also help in putting up the molecular laboratories.

Maria Carmen Ocampo, sales and marketing manager of Manila Health Tek, explained their lab kits test the patient's virus itself.

“Ang tine-test po nito ay ang virus mismo kaya agad po nade-detect. Once infected ang isang tao, made-detect agad,” Ocampo said.

She said their testing kits have 95 percent accuracy.

Teodoro clarified the laboratory will not disrupt the protocol of the Philippine health ministry -- that patients with possible COVID-19 should be tested at designated hospitals -- since the testing center will "just be helping to have early detection."

The mayor said if a resident has COVID-19 symptoms, he/she may call Marikina Rescue 161 to be fetched by an ambulance, before being sent to the City Health Office (CHO). CHO trained doctors and staff will then coordinate with the laboratory on the testing.

Results will be given in just two hours, Teodoro said.