MANILA, Philippines – The city government of Manila on Monday announced it has started the conduct of targeted mass testing for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In an advisory, Manila City’s Public Information Office (PIO) said the Manila Health Department and the city’s six district hospitals can now conduct 232 COVID-19 swab tests per day, or 1,624 per week.
The targeted mass testing are done in the following health facilities:
MHD/Delpan Quarantine Facility — 50 tests per day Ospital ng Maynila — 20 tests per day Sta. Ana Hospital/MIDCC — 30 tests per day Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center — 50 tests per day Ospital ng Tondo — 17 tests per day Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital — 15 tests per day Ospital ng Sampaloc — 50 tests per day
The Manila PIO said all swab tests will be processed either by the Department of Health’s Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM) or the University of the Philippines Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH).
Results may be released in two to three days as committed by UP-PGH Director Dr. Gap Legaspi, the LGU said.
As of posting, about 934 swab tests have already been conducted by the nation’s capital.
Meanwhile, hospitals operated by the Manila City government are now authorized to send COVID-19 patients to the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, which was recently turned into a quarantine facility by the national government.
Manila City Health Officer Dr. Arnold Pangan said three COVID-19 patients will be sent to the facility.
All the mild and asymptomatic cases that had undergone quarantine for 14 days have been considered recovered after not exhibiting any symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to the Department of Health (DOH).
The DOH said this policy is the global standard where symptoms-based is used and not test-based in declaring a recovered COVID-19 patient.
“Kapag asymptomatic po siya after 14 days without symptoms, they can already be tagged as recovered pwede na po siyang mag- trabaho (If he is asymptomatic after 14 days without symptoms, he can already be tagged as recovered and resume work),“ according to DOH Usec. Rosario Vergeire.
Still, Vergeire said that it is important that a recovered individual should have an assessment from a physician confirming his recovery.
The number of daily recoveries went up to over 38,000 on Thursday (July 30), with a total of 65,054 recovered cases. The daily number of cases, meanwhile, went over 3,000.
The DOH said the ‘mass recoveries’ and surge of cases is due to the ‘reconciliation efforts’ of the department to consolidate its data with the data of local government units (LGUs) through Oplan Recovery.
Oplan Recovery is the DOH’s initiative to monitor the status of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. –AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
The Manila City government will begin the construction of its first Muslim cemetery.
Manila City Mayor Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Wednesday (July 22) led the groundbreaking ceremony of the capital’s first Muslim cemetery.
The local government said the new cemetery will serve as an exclusive ground for the interment and transfer of remains of the city’s deceased Muslim residents.
Since Manila currently has no existing cemetery for Muslims, Domagoso said Muslim residents have to bring their departed to Bulacan, Taguig or Mindanao to bury them. But with the new cemetery, these residents will be able to abide by their beliefs and tradition for their departed loved ones.
“In recognition to the beliefs and tradition of our Muslim brothers and sisters, we are going to build the Manila Muslim Cemetery so that they will not travel far to bury their departed loved ones,” the Mayor said in a statement. AAC
The Department of Health (DOH) aims to target 10 million Filipinos to undergo testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, however, said the government does not have the capacity to test all citizens, adding that no country has ever had the capacity to do so.
“Hindi naman po natin pwede i-test ang bawa’t mamamayan wala pong bansang nakakagawa nito kahit ang pinakamayaman katulad ng United States of America (You cannot test every citizen, no country has done that even the richest ones like the United States of America),” he said.
However, Duque said they target to test 10% of the total population of the country by 2021. This would exceed the ratio testing capacity of America, Duque added.
“[Our target] is 10 million Filipinos to be tested by 2021. We hope to do the test at 32,000 to 40,000 a day,” he said.
The DOH previously announced they will include other workers in their expanded COVID-19 testing while they recently announced the completion of a Filipino-made coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) test kit.
“We still have lots of testing kits. It’s about 2 million plus testing kits still left para gamitin sa goal na gusto natin (to be used to achieve our goal)for us to have sustained capacity for testing,” according to DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire. –AAC(with reports from Aiko Miguel)
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