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ADB, DOH to team up for $125-M project to scale up COVID-19 response

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Department of Health (DOH) were in talks for a $125-million project that would scale up the Philippines’ response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Kelly Bird, ADB country director for the Philippines, said they were working with the DOH on improving the country’s testing capacity and creating more isolation facilities.

He said that the project would include two new state of the art laboratories, training of laboratory technicians, and the distribution of test kits, equipment, and supplies to public hospitals.

“So it will be quite a comprehensive project supporting the DOH scaling up its response,” Bird said in an interview on DOH’s virtual presser.

“We hope that this project will be approved next month,” he added.

The ADB and DOH recently teamed up for the establishment of a laboratory at the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital that could conduct 3,000 COVID-19 tests daily once it achieves its maximum capacity within a month.

The testing center was accredited by the DOH over the weekend.

“This lab will be a permanent lab at the J.B. Lingad Hospital so it will continue to test samples beyond this pandemic,” Bird said.

The laboratory would also conduct research on other viruses, genetic diseases, and cancer. — DVM, GMA News