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Marikina to make COVID-19 testing free for residents


The Marikina City government plans to offer free testing to residents who will need it once its coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) laboratory becomes operational.

According to a 24 Oras report by Maki Pulido on Tuesday, Manila HealthTek Inc., the partner of the University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health in producing COVID-19 test kits, has also teamed up with the Marikina government.

The research and development company has transferred one of its polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines to Marikina’s COVID-19 testing center.

“Imbis na isa lamang ang magagamit natin, maaaring dalawa o tatlong PCR machine ang magagamit natin na pupuwede tayong makapagtest, siguro 200 to 300 tests sa isang araw,” Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said.

Manila HealthTek will also deploy a molecular pathologist to Marikina’s laboratory.

The Philippine National Police, meanwhile, will also designate two teams trained in swabbing to collect samples from patients.

Manila HealthTek said it is looking to increase its production capacity to 20,000 test kits per day from the current 8,000.

“We are waiting for additional automated liquid dispensing machines or yung mga robot na gumagawa ng mga testing kits natin. So pag dumating yung mga additional robots, mado-doouble itong capacity to manufacture namin,” sales and marketing director Maricar Ocampo said.

Once Marikina’s COVID-19 testing center has been approved by the Department of Health (DOH), Teodoro said it will also cater to people from neighboring cities.

“Hindi na lang ang Marikina ang i-serve natin o kaya yung matulungan sa pagte-test, kundi pati yung ibang cities and municipalities sa Metro Manila,” he said.

The launch of the city’s laboratory was deferred by the DOH due to its location. The city has since picked another spot that will house the laboratory. -Julia Mari Ornedo/MDM, GMA News

 

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