Marikina City yesterday unveiled the new location for its proposed COVID-19 testing lab, a few days after the Department of Health (DOH) rejected their first proposal.
The lab will be housed in a two-story building located in the village of Concepcion Uno, which is accessible by a major highway. The newly built structure has a floor area of 160 square meters, and the lab will be completed in two weeks, CNN Philippines reports.
“This is a freestanding structure. It is not located in a populated area and it’s accessible. It is located along a main avenue in Marikina. In terms of location, I believe this is suitable to their requirements,” Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro told the Manila Bulletin.
“Second, the building doesn’t house other offices or clinics. What we have here is only the laboratory. So the medical technologists, pathologists, and lab technicians will be the only ones to occupy this,” he added.
The DOH rejected the lab’s first proposed location, which was on the sixth floor of Marikina’s health office, because they said it should be in a separate building to minimize the risk of cross-infection. But the rejection didn’t faze Teodoro, who found the new location less than a week after being turned down by the Health Department. He also vowed that they would follow the DOH’s safety protocols.
“We have a risk assessment template that meets the highest standards, which we intend to follow; we will also practice strict adherence to the protocols of the biohazard measures [implemented by the DOH],” he told The Philippine Daily Inquirer, adding that an ambulance will be assigned to the lab to be used during emergencies.
“Our countrymen need to be tested for COVID-19 so that they could be given supportive treatment so that they could be isolated and contained. This is done so that their loved ones won’t be infected,” the mayor said.
The DOH has yet to respond to Marikina’s new request.
The Health Department has said it can now process 1,000 COVID-19 tests per day, with most being handled by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City, but it has rejected calls to conduct mass testing because it does not have adequate resources. Netizens have been clamoring for wider testing after rumors have swirled that certain politicians are being tested ahead of patients and healthcare workers.
This article, Marikina City proposes new site for COVID-19 testing lab, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!