Marikina COVID-19 laboratory staff need to pass test before accreditation: Nograles

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 17 2020 11:58 AM

Photo courtesy of the Marikina Public Information Office

MANILA- Personnel who will man the coronavirus testing laboratory of Marikina City still need to pass a test before it could be accredited for operations, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Friday.

Nograles said an assessment showed that the Marikina COVID-19 laboratory can be operated next week as long as its personnel pass the proficiency test.

"Abot naman ng Monday, granting and under the condition na 'yung personnel ng Marikina laboratory papasa doon sa proficiency test," he said in a virtual press briefing.

(We can make it by Monday, granting and under the condition that the Marikina laboratory personnel will pass the proficiency test.)

"So there's a final test, final exam which their personnel have to pass. Hindi na namin kontrol yun (We can't control that)," he said.

The Department of Health on Tuesday warned against the premature opening of the COVID-19 testing laboratory in Marikina as it emphasized the need for biosafety training since lab technicians will handle live virus.

“Naiintindihan namin ang inyong kagustuhan na mapabilis ang proseso ng testing sa inyong lugar ngunit ang hindi pagsunod sa tamang proseso ay magdudulot pa ng undue harm sa inyong mamamayan,” Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire said.

(We understand your wish to expedite the process for testing in your city but not following due process can result in undue harm among your citizens.)

Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro on Thursday said the local facility is expected to open next week, during which, local residents that show symptoms of COVID-19 can already be tested.

"Malapit na sila sa finish line eh konti na lang tapos na eh," Nograles said.

(They're near the finish line, it's just a little bit.)

So far, the Philippines has 16 COVID-19 testing centers nationwide with others still undergoing accreditation.