Manila LGU gets DOH nod to process own COVID-19 test samples

Published June 25, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Joseph Pedrajas

The local government of Manila has been given the green light by the Department of Health (DOH) to operate starting Thursday (June 25) its own coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing laboratory at the Sta. Ana Hospital.

The public information office said on Thursday afternoon that its laboratory has received a license to operate valid until December 31, 2020.

This means the city can process on its own a total of 200 swab or PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 tests each day, bringing the total number of tests that the city can conduct to 350 per day or 2,450 per week. This allows the local government to ramp up its efforts to track down all possible virus carriers.

Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, in a video sent to reporters, was exultant upon receiving the license.

“Pinagkekwentuhan lang natin kanina eh. Bakit di ka naman magpapasalamat sa Diyos (We were just talking about this earlier. There’s no reason not to be thankful to God),” Domagoso told his employees in a conference room inside the Manila City Hall.

“We are ready to go, may awa ang Diyos (God has mercy). In the coming days, our small efforts to strengthen our position against COVID-19 will be stronger than ever.”

Sta. Ana Hospital director Dr. Grace Padilla handed the license to Domagoso after going to the DOH office to obtain it.

“Tuwang-tuwa ako sa support ni Mayor at Vice Mayor [Honey Lacuna-Pangan]. Mahirap talaga makakuha ng license to operate for COVID-19 testing laboratories, very technical and very specific ang RITM [Research Institute for Tropical Medicine] (I am very happy because of the support of the Mayor and Vice Mayor. It’s really hard to get a license to operate for COVID-19 testing laboratories. The RITM is very technical and very specific),” Padilla said.

“With the help and guidance of DOH and RITM, we were able to comply with all of their requirements. I’m very happy for the City of Manila. I’m very happy for the Manilans. This is for them,” she said.

In a Facebook Live on May 16, Domagoso said the city was already building its own COVID-19 testing facility, which he said is a part of the “long-term” plan that is being taken by the local officials against the pandemic.

“Habang tayo ay nakikipag-partner sa national government, sa mga private sectors, medical institutions, tayo rin ay magtatayo ng sariling testing laboratory na ilalagay sa [second floor ng] Santa Ana Hospital (While we partner with the national government, private sectors and medical institutions, we will also build our own testing laboratory at the second floor of Santa Ana Hospital),” he said.