MANILA - Marikina City's COVID-19 testing center will launch Wednesday and will prioritize those previously identified as persons under monitoring (PUMs), immunocompromised and frontline workers, Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said Tuesday.
"We would like to test them first because we would like to determine whether they are positive or negative," he told ANC.
"Successful it might seem, our enhanced community quarantine covering a wide area might not be sustainable over the long run. That's the reason why we need to do mass testing in order to provide immediate treatment and to isolate and contain the transmission of the virus," he added.
Teodoro said the testing laboratory could run 400 tests per day, which accounts for 5 percent of the national government's target of 8,000 daily tests.
Marikina has also entered an agreement with its neighboring areas such as San Mateo and Antipolo in Rizal province for access to services of the laboratory.
"Kung ligtas 'yong katabi naming bayan from the transmission, ligtas din kami because we share the same border," the mayor said.
Teodoro lamented the Department of Health's delayed approval of the testing laboratory.
"Kung nabuksan kami 3 weeks ago, palagay ko, we were able to flatten the curve or plateau the number of COVID patients in the city," he said.
The lockdown imposed all over Luzon to halt the contagion has particularly stalled the shoe industry in Marikina, the mayor said.
"Marami sa aming manggagawa dito ay 'piece worker.' Binabayaran sa daming nagawang sapatos, pero marami ang nag-cancel ng order," he said.
Asked whether the enhanced community quarantine should be extended after April 30, he said it should be lifted gradually and selectively.
"Maaaring ang quarantine na lang (ay) kung saan naka-concentrate 'yong cases natin ngayon. I-lift na 'yong quarantine to areas with no COVID cases or with little number of COVID cases so the economy could restart again," Teodoro said.
As of Tuesday, Marikina City has recorded 90 coronavirus infections, with 18 deaths and 13 recoveries.