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Marikina sets up lab, buys equipment to give free COVID-19 tests

The Marikina City government will provide free COVID-19 testing for health workers and suspected COVID-19 cases  starting on Tuesday, March 24, Mayor Marcy Teodoro said Thursday.

In an interview with GMA News Online, Teodoro said that the city had already set up a molecular biology laboratory for the collection of the specimens for COVID-19 testing.

The specimens will then be put in COVID-19 testing kits which will be processed by the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine which the city procured for P2.7 million.

“Minimal lang ang expenses. Sa lahat, parang pumapatak na P1,700 at P1,800 per COVID-19 testing [ang ginastos ng city government]. Eh sa ngayon, nasa P8,000 ang cost ng per test,” Teodoro said.

“We will be testing 50 for the field test, and this will start on Tuesday,” he added.

Dr. Ramonito Villiran of the Marikina City government, for his part, said that the 50 people to be tested is just an initial number pending the results of the field test.

“Ang gusto muna talaga ipa-test ni Mayor eh iyong mga health workers, PUIs at PUMs,” Viliran said.

PUI means Patient Under Investigations while PUM is Persons Under Monitoring.

Marikina City has five COVID-19 cases in one household.

The Philippines, on the other hand, has at least 217 COVID-19 cases as of March 19. Of this number,17 have died while eight others recovered.

The Philippines has 380 PUIs and 4,929 PUMs as of March 19. The Health department, however, was only able to test 1,172 individuals. -NB, GMA News