By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III inspected the Marikina City’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Testing Center on Friday afternoon.
Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro gave Duque a tour of the facility, which is now “up and running,” according to the city mayor.
Teodoro said the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines, biosafety cabinet, robotic extraction machines, and other equipment of needed by the facility to operate were already installed and “fully calibrated.”
The testing center, a two-storey building located in Barangay Concepcion Uno, can process 400 to 500 COVID-19 tests daily, he explained.
The Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has earlier backed Marikina’s testing facility.
According to Teodoro, the IATF-EID has ordered the Health Department to expedite the accreditation of the laboratory.
Teodoro earlier said that they will open the testing center with or without the approval of the DOH, after invoking the city’s “local government autonomy” to address the coronavirus outbreak.
“Paramount importance for Marikina to ensure that the operation or the testing center is safety, safety for its staff and for the community around the testing center,” he stressed.
Some senators has recently called for Duque’s resignation over his alleged “failure of leadership, negligence, lack of foresight and inefficiency” in addressing the health crisis.