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Manila to open own testing lab

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Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso said the local government is putting up its own coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing laboratory that will ramp up the city’s ability to confirm the status of residents being tested through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machines.

In a situation report he delivered on his Facebook page, Domagoso said this is part of the city’s “long-term” plan as they strengthen their efforts to stem the outbreak in the city.

As of press time, Manila has had 997 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 89 deaths and 163 recoveries.

“Habang tayo ay nakikipag-partner sa national government, sa mga private sectors, medical institutions, tayo rin ay magtatayo ng sariling testing laboratory na ilalagay sa [second floor ng] Santa Ana Hospital,” he said.

(While we partner with the national government, private sectors, and medical institutions, we will also build our own testing laboratory at the second floor of Santa Ana Hospital.)

Domagoso added that the local government will also purchase eight mobile digital X-ray machines dedicated for COVID-19 patients, which will complement the two already existing analog X-ray machines of the city.

“Bakit po walo? Anim lang ang ating hospital? Para po ‘yung dalawa, atin pong pang-abang… Ayaw ko, in the middle of everything, masira ‘yung machine, wala tayong extra. I really wanted to prepare our city…[and] to empower our medical institutions and frontliners in our health sector,” the mayor said.

(Why eight when we only have six hospitals? The two will be for ‘just in case’… I don’t want that in the middle of everything, one of the machines will fail to operate and we won’t have a backup.)

Domagoso said he preferred buying portable machines as they will prevent the COVID-19 patients — some 180 of them at the moment — from roaming around the hospitals on their way to the x-ray room. Instead, the x-ray will be brought to the patients’ rooms.

“[Ito ay] bilang paghahanda ng inyong pamahalaang lungsod sa mga darating na buwan ng buhay natin na kabahagi natin si COVID-19,” he said.

(This is your city government’s preparation for the coming months of our lives with COVID-19.)

The local chief executive also announced that the Manila government has already adopted the use of the StaySafe.ph mobile application, which allows residents to report their health condition and facilitate the government in contact tracing.

“Dito po palalakasin natin ang ating contact tracing, health condition reporting, and social distancing,” Domagoso said.

(Through this, we will strengthen our efforts in contact tracing, health condition reporting, and social distancing.)

Manila residents can download the application from the website manila.staysafe.ph, and register themselves and their families to know their risk of exposure.

They will also become updated about the COVID-19 situation in the city by being informed of nearby areas with positive patients.

“Pwede nyong i-report yung oras-oras niyong nararamdaman… para nang sa ganoon, malalaman ng pamahalaan kung ano ang iyong katayuan sa iyong kalusugan at pwede mo [pa] isama ang iyong pamilya,” Moreno said.

(You can report your condition regularly, so that the local government will know your health condition and that of your family’s.)

Moreno also said some 607,586 families will once again receive P1,000 in cash aid from the local government in the second tranche of financial assistance to help those financially affected by the crisis.


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