Marikina reveals new location for proposed coronavirus testing center
MANILA, Philippines – Days after the Department of Health (DOH) disapproved the location of the Marikina City COVID-19 Testing Center, Mayor Marcelino Teodoro on Monday, March 30, announced that a newly-built two-story building will house the city's proposed testing facility.
Teodoro said the new building, which is 160 square meters, is located in Bayan-Bayanan Avenue, Barangay Concepcion Uno, Marikina City.
He said the new building is not in a populated area but and is accessible to the people as it is located along a main avenue in the city. He said this suits the DOH requirements and standard.
"[T]his is a freestanding structure. Hindi populated 'yung area, accessible, nakikita ng marami. It is located along a main avenue in Marikina. In terms of location, mukhang ito ang suitable na sinasabi nila," he said in a statement.
(This is a freestanding structure. The area is not populated, is accessible, and can be seen by many. It is located along a main avenue in Marikina. In terms of location, it looks like this is suitable to their requirements.)
Earlier, the city government was planning to dedicate the entire 6th floor of the Marikina City Health Office (CHO) building – including an exclusive elevator – for the testing center.
The DOH disapproved this location, saying that the local government should build a separate building for the facility to be operational.
In a March 24 letter to the local government of Marikina, DOH recommended that the proposed testing facility should be located in a separate location or facility outside the CHO so that cross-infection is minimized and less foot traffic will be observed for the protection of staff and Marikina residents.
Unlike at the Marikina CHO, Teodoro said the new testing center has no other offices and clinics.
"Ang narito lang ay ang laboratory. Kaya ang tao lang makikita rito at ang mga medical technologists, pathologists, at lab technicians," the mayor said.
(Only the laboratory would be in this building. So the only people you will see here are the medical technologists, pathologists, and lab technicians.)
Kennedy Sueno, chief of the city's engineering office, said the Marikina COVID-19 Testing Center is targeted to be completed in two weeks.
Teodoro assured Marikina residents that they will be safe as the local government followed the risk assessment template and strictly implemented the protocol of biohazard measures.
"Hindi lang doon sa in terms of trained personnel na mayroon tayo, hindi lang 'yung work process, kundi pati ang layout ng laboratory ay sumusunod doon sa biohazard safety," Teodoro added.
(Not only in terms of trained personnel, not only the work process, but even the layout of the laboratory follows biohazard safety protocols.)
Teodoro said he wants the facility to be operational as soon as possible, because the country is already under public health emergency and this will address the need for mass testing in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
He reiterated the importance of people, especially the less fortunate ones, to get tested at the soonest possible time so that they could get supportive treatment if they contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
As of Monday afternoon, the Philippines has recorded 1,546 confirmed cases of the disease, with 78 deaths and 42 recoveries. – Rappler.com