Marikina City government announced that already set up their own molecular laboratory to hasten the testing of their residents for COVID-19.
However, the Department of Health (DOH) is still not letting the testing center to operate as their facilities are still being reviewed by the agency.
Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro expressed their disappointment with the decision of DOH and urged them to allow their laboratory to operate as soon as possible because they’re planning to do their own mass testing to his constituents.
According to him, many people especially the poor are not being tested because they cannot afford to get tested in private hospitals.
“It should be a partnership. This is a whole-of-government approach kung saan nagtutulong-tulong ang lokal at national. Kung ano ang kakulangan sa national ay pinupunan ng mga lokal na pamahalaan,” he said in a statement.
“We should make these test kits commercially available for all. We should be able to ensure that testing is ‘democratized’… lalo do’n sa mga mahihirap na hindi kaya magpatingin sa mga pribadong ospital.” he added.
Teodoro said that their residents from Pasig City and other places in Rizal are also welcome to use the laboratory.
“Rizal, nearby cities, puwede. We are targeting 3-4 additional cities na magbebenefit dito sa Marikina Testing Center.” he said.
Meanwhile, Amang Rodriguez Medical Center (ARMMC) Director Dr. Imelda Mateo told reporters that DOH has already begun inspecting the testing center.
“We will make sure that when the testing center becomes operational, it is safe and its processes are efficient,” she said.
Marikina City partnered with Manila Health Tek, Inc. a biotechnology private company in Manila.
They already procured 3,000 COVID-19 testing kits from the company.
The Marikina City government also assured that their doctors will be knowledgable enough to conduct a COVID-19 test as they’re going to train by scientist and doctors of Manila Health Tek to operate the laboratory.
Teodoro in a recent radio interview that they’re waiting for the final report from DOH.
The Mayor added that they decided to build their own testing center after they saw how many people are lining up in government-owned hospitals like Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to get tested.