Filtered By: Topstories

DOH: Marikina’s COVID-19 lab personnel not yet trained, some equipment still uninstalled

The Department of Health (DOH) said Marikina City’s COVID-19 testing center remains on Stage 3 out of 5 in their laboratory certification process due to some criteria that the local government has yet to meet based on the department’s assessment.

On Tuesday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said some equipment in the testing center were not yet installed while the laboratory personnel had not yet undergone the proper training.

Under Stage 3, “the personnel who will operate the laboratory will have to undergo a special three-day training,” according to the DOH.

However, Vergeire said the earliest available training schedule is next Monday, April 19.

Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro earlier expressed frustration at the bureaucratic processes delaying the certification of their laboratory and said he will open it with or without DOH approval on Friday. 

“Pinayuhan po ng ating team ang Marikina City na mag-enrol ang kanilang lab techinicians sa online course ngayong linggo upang makapaghanda sa practical training on biosafety sa Lunes,” Vergeire said.

Aside from the personnel training and installation of equipment, the DOH also noted that the workflow structure of Marikina’s laboratory was already 80 to 90% complete.

No lack of cooperation

At the same time, Vergeire denied that the DOH had been uncooperative with the Marikina government following Teodoro’s statements earlier in the day.

She stressed that the department has been working with the local government since it first applied for laboratory certification.

“Naiintindihan po namin ang inyong kagustuhan na mapabilis ang proseso ng testing sa inyong lugar, ngunit ang hindi pagsunod sa tamang proseso ay magdudulot po ng undue harm sa inyong mamamayan,” the DOH official warned.

The DOH said Marikina can send swabs to nearby COVID-19 testing centers across Metro Manila in the meantime.

“Hindi po ang DOH ang nang-iipit sa inyo. Kami po ay kaalyado niyo sa laban na ito ngunit kailangan po nating sundin ang siyensiya at ang tamang proseso,” Vergeire said. — RSJ, GMA News