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Robot to extract coronavirus in Marikina’s testing center

As the city government of Marikina gears up for the launch of its coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing center on Friday, the laboratory and medical technicians have been busy preparing for the start of operations.

According to a 24 Oras report by Maki Pulido on Thursday, however, the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 will not be extracted by human hands but by a robot.

The local government has also started calibrating the laboratory’s polymerase chain reaction machines.

The live viruses will also be placed inside the latest model of biosafety cabinets.

“Matapos ma-approve ang biosafety level 2 training at proficiency training, magkakaroon ng pagsusulit sa Lunes… inaasahan natin kasunod nito ay accreditation na,” Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said.

The swabbing of residents will begin next week.

The city’s first 5,000 test kits will be allocated for frontline workers, suspected COVID-19 cases, and senior citizens.

“We need to do mass testing dahil pagkatapos ng quarantine, hindi naman aalis kasama ng quarantine ‘yung virus e,” Teodoro said.

The mayor earlier announced that he would open the testing center with or without approval from the Department of Health after expressing frustration at the bureaucratic processes holding up the launch.

The department has warned the local government that opening the laboratory without their approval will put Marikina residents at risk. -Julia Mari Ornedo/MDM, GMA News