MANILA - The local government of Marikina City said Thursday it will prioritize specific groups of people once its COVID-19 testing facility becomes operational.
Speaking to ANC, Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said the facility is expected to open next week, during which, local residents, starting with those showing symptoms of COVID-19, can already be tested.
"Our priority would be our persons under investigation, those with symptoms but not yet tested. We have around 22 of them," Teodoro said.
Around 220 persons under monitoring, or those who are not showing symptoms but are under quarantine, will also be tested at the facility.
"These are the first two batches that we intend to test when we make the laboratory operational by Tuesday or Wednesday next week," Teodoro said.
After testing the probable COVID-19 cases, they will then test between 600 to 700 frontliners, who include health care workers and law enforcers.
Teodoro said senior citizens will also be prioritized.
"We have a big population of senior citizens in Marikina at 'yun 'yung problema namin na nakikita. Doon sa data namin, mas malaki 'yung deaths, 'yung namamatay, doon sa nagre-recover sa amin," Teodoro said.
"We have 17 deaths compared to 11 patients who recovered from COVID-19 at ang common denominator doon sa mga namatay na 'yun ay 'yung advanced age nila," he added.
According to Teodoro, by testing the senior citizens, they can be provided with the necessary medical attention they need.
"So we would like to do testing in this sector, in this demographic so that we could provide, at the outset, the necessary health protection that we could provide to them in order for COVID-19 not to affect them," he said.
Once testing starts, Teodoro said they will be expecting a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases, and they are already preparing for this scenario.
"We are preparing in terms of strengthening our health services and we are looking for additional medical facilities that we could use, especially when we open this testing facility," he said.
"We expect more people would be needed to be hospitalized and treated properly," Teodoro added.
The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said the COVID-19 testing laboratory in Marikina City is still pending certification and assured the city government it is not opposed to the initiative but was only ensuring the safety of residents.
As of Thursday, Marikina has a total of 72 confirmed cases, with 11 recoveries and 17 deaths.