Marikina to get DOH nod for free coronavirus testing Tuesday: mayor

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 21 2020 09:52 AM | Updated as of Apr 21 2020 10:11 AM

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MANILA - The health department is set to accredit Tuesday a testing laboratory that will screen residents of Marikina and neighboring cities for the novel coronavirus for free, Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said.

The P3.8-million laboratory's free testing will cover Marikina residents and those from San Mateo and Antipolo in Rizal province. Other cities can also use the facility for free if they provide their own test kits, he said.

"Kailangan talaga iyong mga ordinaryong Pilipino magkaroon ng access sa testing," Teodoro told DZMM.

"'Pag walang testing hind mo malalaman kung sinong gagamutin mo... Hindi mo siya maihihiwalay kaya hindi ma-contain iyong virus," he added.

(Ordinary Filipinos should have access to testing. Without this, you can't know who should be treated. You cannot isolate them and contain the virus.)

Teodoro earlier said he would open the laboratory even without the approval of the health department following delays in the accreditation due to points for improvement. Following Teodoro's pronouncement, Health Secretary Francisco Duque last week inspected the lab.

"Narinig naman natin iyong pahayag niya (Duque): isa sa pinakamagandang laboratoryo na nakita niya, kumpleto equipment, puwedeng maging modelo sa ibang LGU," said Teodoro.

(We heard his statement: this is one of the best laboratories he had seen, the equipment were complete and it could be a model for other LGUs.)

"Buong araw ngayon idi-dedicate ko sa paghihintay ng accreditation," he added.

(I will dedicate the whole day to waiting for the accreditation.)

Marikina's laboratory can run up to 100 tests a day. The University of the Philippines-National Institutes for Heath, which produced the first Filipino-made COVID-19 test kits, helped develop the lab, Teodoro earlier said.

The Marikina government on Tuesday will also start deploying a mobile market to several villages to discourage residents from leaving their homes for supply runs, said the mayor.

Authorities will also disinfect a public market that was closed Monday after an elderly vendor there died due to suspected COVID-19, he said.