Amang Rodriguez hospital rejected as testing center due to biosafety risk

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 27 2020 10:14 AM

MANILA - The Department of Health has refused to mount a coronavirus testing facility in the government-run Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center, Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro said Friday, a day after the department also thumbed down the city's multi-million molecular laboratory for coronavirus tests.

Teodoro said Marikina and neighboring Cainta are willing to shoulder the expenses for the testing but were still turned down.

"Kung ano man kakailanganin doon sa laboratoryo, maski na pasuweldo o sa mga gamit, sasagutin na ng lokal," Teodoro said.

"Sa Amang Rodriguez [Memorial Medical Center]... Sabi ko ilagay na doon para pakinabangan din ng ibang karatig bayan... Tinanggihan na din ng DOH dahil sa kakapusan ng lugar," he said.

Machines needed to process COVID-19 testing kits cannot fit in Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told ABS-CBN News in a text message.

"The recommendation was to set up the lab in another office with adequate space as it is risky and not safe to set it up on the existing building due to biosafety risks," Vergeire said.

"We are finding a location in the hospital w/ adequate space to set up the lab," she said.

Teodoro and other mayors have been urging the national government to put up more COVID-19 testing centers after South Korea's coronavirus response showed that mass testing can decrease the number of infections and fatalities.

As of March 26, the Philippines registered 707 cases of COVID-19 with 45 fatalities and 28 recoveries nationwide.