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Manila City gov't begins localized targeted mass testing

MANILA, Philippines – The Manila City government has begun its localized targeted mass testing, with almost a thousand swab tests taken from patients as of Monday, April 13, a statement from the city government said.

The mass testing is done by the Manila Health Department (MHD) and the city’s six district hospitals, using the coronavirus polymerase chain reaction (PCR)- based testing.

This means that all swab tests will be processed either at the Department of Health’s Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM) or the University of the Philippines Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH), two of the national government’s designated laboratories for coronavirus testing.

Dr. Gap Legaspi, UP-PGH Director, told the Manila City government that their laboratory can release the results in two to 3 days.

Manila is one of the country's densest cities. As of Saturday, April 11, it has recorded 305 COVID-19 cases, with 38 deaths and 25 recoveries. (READ: MAP: Barangays with coronavirus cases in most affected Metro Manila cities)

The city statement said that swab tests have already been conducted with the following breakdown:

The following health facilities operated by the city government are now capable of conducting about 232 COVID-19 swab tests per day, or 1,624 per week:

Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso designated Manila City Health Officer Dr. Arnold Pangan to lead the localized targeted mass testing.

The localized targeted mass testing is in line with the city government’s CODE COVID-19 (Contain and Delay) action plan which “aims to slow the spread of the disease while the government tries to isolate infected patients from the communities.”

Hospitals under the Manila City government can also send COVID-19 patients to the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, one of the stadiums and centers converted into quarantine facilities by the national government.

Pangan said that the local government will be sending 3 coronavirus patients to the facility on Monday. – Rappler.com