Quezon City gov’t to open COVID-19 testing centers per district

Robie de Guzman   •   April 20, 2020   •   583

MANILA, Philippines – The local government of Quezon City has announced that it will open a testing center in each of its six districts to accommodate residents who are suspected to be infected with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The city government said Sunday that testing centers for Districts 4, 5, and 6 will be opened on Monday, while those for Districts 1, 2, and 3 will be opened on Tuesday after locations are finalized.

“We are opening more testing centers located in different districts so that we can accommodate and identify more residents who might have COVID-19,” Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a statement.

Belmonte said the testing center for District 5 will be located at SB Park Novaliches while for District 6, it will be situated at the University of the Philippines’ Asian Institute of Tourism along Commonwealth Avenue.

For District 4, the testing center is located at the Quezon City Experience in Quezon Memorial Circle.

“These testing centers will be equipped with swab booths and will target 50 tests per day, including blood testing and x-ray examination,” the city government said.

“Testing centers will be in direct coordination with barangay health centers while district health officers will man and supervise the booths,” it added.

The city government aims to conduct around 1,800 to 2,000 swab tests per week, including those that will be administered by local government hospitals namely Quezon City General Hospital, Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital and Novaliches District Hospital and by the Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (QCESU) in their contact tracing.

Specimens from these facilities will be forwarded to partner hospitals Lung Center of the Philippines and St. Luke’s Medical Center-Quezon City for testing.

The partnership between the Quezon City government and the Philippine Red Cross will also start this week with 1,500 tests.

The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) will also deploy 30 nurses and six medical technicians from the Philippine National Police to help the city form a total of eight teams tasked to conduct house-to-house confirmatory tests.

For residents who would like to undergo testing, the QC government requests them to coordinate with their barangay health officers for initial interview and assessment. Senior citizens will be prioritized.

Duterte to announce new quarantine status; not sure of MGCQ for Metro Manila

Marje Pelayo   •   July 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is set to meet with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 on Wednesday evening (July 15) to discuss the next steps with regard to the implementation of community quarantine in different parts of the country. 

He is expected to decide on the new quarantine status that will take effect on Thursday, July 16. 

According to Malacañang, there was no mention in the previous IATF meeting about easing quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila.

Specifically, there was no discussion about the shifting from general community quarantine (GCQ) to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in the National Capital Region considering the increase in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases and the full utilization of the region’s critical care capacity. 

“Hindi ko po alam dahil sa huling meeting ng IATF talagang hindi po na-discuss ang MGCQ for Metro Manila (I have no idea because in the previous IATF meeting there was no discussion about MGCQ for Metro Manila),” noted Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque. 

The Philippines has entered the fourth month since the government imposed community quarantine orders due to the outbreak of COVID-19. 

Roque assured, meanwhile, that the NCR’s hospitals have enough beds for COVID-19 patients despite the announcement of Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega that the region’s intensive care system has now reached the danger zone. 

“Ang pakiusap lang natin sa mga pasyente, makinig lang po tayo kung saan tayo dapat pumunta at huwag na tayong mag-insist (We only ask that patients listed [to authorities] where they are supposed to go and not insist [on what they want]),” Roque stressed.

“Huwag na tayong mag-worry kung puno ang isang ospital, ire-refer naman po kayo sa iba pang ospital, (Do not worry if the hospital is full because you will be accommodated in other hospitals),” he added. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

DND main office in Camp Aguinaldo on 3-day lockdown

Marje Pelayo   •   July 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The main office of the Department of National Defense (DND) in Camp Aguinaldo has been placed under lockdown after one of its personnel contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In an advisory, the agency said the office premises will undergo disinfection on the duration of the lockdown. 

The agency will reopen on Friday (July 17).

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana himself earlier announced that one of the staff was tested positive for COVID-19, which prompted the official to volunteer for self-quarantine.

Based on the result of his COVID-19 released today, Lorenzana said he is negative of the disease. MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan)

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing center opens in Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   July 15, 2020

The Manila City government on Wednesday opened its own drive-thru novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing center in a bid to boost its mass testing capacity amid rising cases of infection.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said the testing center is open to all residents and non-residents who wish to avail of the service free of charge.

The facility is open from Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Domagoso said they only need to bring a government-issued ID to get tested in the drive-thru testing facility located in front of the Andres Bonifacio Monument along P. Burgos Street.

Blood samples collected from those who were tested will then be processed by the city government’s newly-purchased serology testing machines which have a combined capacity of 89,600 tests per month.

These machines also have an accuracy rate of 99.6 percent.

However, those who will yield positive results will still have to undergo confirmatory swab testing. – RRD (details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)


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