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Manila Mayor Francisco Isko Moreno Domagoso / Manila PIO

Manila spending P40 million for free Covid-19 tests

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Manila realigned P40 million from its budget for the free and accessible coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) testing in the city.

Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso signed Ordinance 8657 which allocates some P40 million to "cover expenses for medical equipment and medical supplies for Covid-19 testing in the city of Manila”.

In a Facebook post, Domagoso said the city will procure additional medical equipment and medical supplies to strengthen the response of its health sector to allay fears of Manilenyos on the pandemic.

“Nais nating mapanatag ang kalooban, maipagkaloob ang peace of mind, at maging mas produktibo ang mga taga-Maynila sa gitna ng pandemya sa pamamagitan ng massive Covid-19 testing na ipinagkakaloob ng inyong pamahalaang panglungsod (We want to allay their fears and make Manilenyos more productive amid the pandemic through the massive Covid-19 testing offered by the city government),” his post said.

The approved supplemental budget will be sourced out from the city development fund.

Of the said amount, some PHP20 million will be allotted for the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) to acquire more Covid-19 testing reagents, PHP10 million for the maintenance and operating expenses of Covid-19 laboratory testing, and PHP10 million for the purchase of various medical equipment.

Currently, the city government of Manila has two drive-through testing centers in Lawton and at the Quirino Grandstand, two walk-in testing centers at the Ospital ng Sampaloc, and at the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, and two mobile testing centers which are brought to different barangays in the city.

Domagoso said they are using serology testing machines purchased from American healthcare firm Abbott which have an accuracy of 99.6 percent for specificity and 100 percent for sensitivity.

During a meeting with the city health officials and hospital directors, Domagoso said another serology testing machine will be procured by the city government which will eventually increase the city's testing capability to about 112,000 tests a month. 

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