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DOH: Marikina COVID-19 lab on sixth floor, failed biosafety standards

Marikina's laboratory for COVID-19 tests fell short of standards on space and biosafety, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Thursday.

In an online press briefing, Duque said the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine would help the local government unit build a facility that would meet "guidelines for biosafety."

"Hindi po naaprubahan dahil hindi po pumasa sa standards on space and biosafety. Nasa sixth floor po kasi ang kanilang laboratory kaya imumungkahi ng DOH na gamitin ang laboratoryo ng Amang Rodriguez Hospital or magsetup ng laboratoryo sa ibang lokasyon," Duque said.

"Puwede itong modular or prefab infrastructure lamang. Tutulungan po sila ng RITM kung papaano magpatayo ng isang facility na kasunod sa guidelines for biosafety," he added.

Earlier on Thursday, Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said the entire sixth floor of the City Health Office was cleared and dedicated solely to the testing facility.

“Tanging ‘yung testing center na lang ang naroon at merong dedicated, exclusive elevator papunta lamang do’n,” Teodoro said in an interview with Super Radyo dzBB.

The mayor lamented the need for a separate building for the testing center.

“Kung gusto raw po naming magkaroon ng testing center, magpatayo kami ng bagong building na paglalagyan ng testing center… ‘Pag ganito ang sagot ng DOH, parang hindi nila nakikita ‘yung pangangailangan at saka time is of the essence po ngayon e.”

Teodoro earlier stressed that urgency is needed in combating the spread of COVID-19 and expressed frustration after the DOH deferred the launch of the testing center. It was supposed to start operations on Tuesday. 

The mayor said that the local government was willing to donate its entire facility and test kits to the DOH to aid the national government’s efforts to ramp up COVID-19 testing in the country.

The disease has so far claimed 45 lives and infected over 700 people nationwide. -NB, GMA News

Tags: covid-19, news, nation, doh