QC LGU launches mobile COVID-19 testing unit

Published June 29, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Joseph Pedrajas

A mobile coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing unit was launched by the Quezon City government Monday to track down all virus carriers in the city.

Mayor Joy Belmonte said the modified truck will be able to conduct both PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and rapid diagnostic tests (RDT), which will “help complement the city’s strategy of tracing, isolating and testing more residents from various communities.”

“With this mobile testing unit, our team can further its efforts in testing more people who need to be isolated immediately,” she said.

Data from the Department of Health showed that Quezon City posts the second highest COVID-19 infections among cities after Cebu. As of June 28, it has 3,255 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 229 deaths and 1,884 recoveries.

The local government said barangay officials and other barangay frontliners will be prioritized in testing.

Dr. Rolly Cruz, head of the city’s epidemiology unit said they will use the mobile unit to visit areas with “high attack rate” and “high active cases” and test persons assessed as having a chance of being infected with COVID-19. They will also visit places under special concern lockdown (SCL).

Based on the city’s June 28 COVID-19 update, there are eight areas under SCL. These are: Calle 29 in Libis, Kaingin Bukid in Apolonio Samson, 138 Ermin Garcia St. in E Rodriguez, 52 Imperial St. in E. Rodriguez, portion of King Christian St. in Bagbag, Insurance St. Extension in Sangandaan, Loans St., Alley 4, in Sangandaan and 70 Mendez Road in Baesa.

The local government said the mobile unit, which was sponsored by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Quezon City (PCCI-QC) will be managed by the Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (QC-ESU) of the City Health Department.

It will be manned by three to five personnel who will conduct COVID-19 tests. The unit has a generator, a mini laboratory, negative pressure, and a self-decontamination area.

Joseph Juico, community testing project manager welcomed the donation made by PCCI-QC “as an excellent addition to the city-wide efforts” against COVID-19. He said, the mobile testing unit has allowed the local government to cover more areas in its COVID-19 testing efforts more easily due to “lesser logistical requirements.”

Currently, the local government has employed more than 300 individuals to lead the contact tracing of possible COVID-19 carriers and attend to the medical needs of patients.