DOH defers COVID testing in Marikina
MANILA, Philippines — Despite the readiness of Marikina City to operate its molecular laboratory center and start using locally developed testing kits for coronavirus disease 2019, the Department of Health (DOH) has suspended the city government’s plan to proceed with mass COVID-19 testing.
This was announced yesterday by Mayor Marcelino Teodoro following a meeting with officials of the DOH, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and World Health Organization (WHO).
The local government has procured 3,000 testing kits developed by scientists from the University of the Philippines-Manila.
Teodoro urged the DOH to allow them to open the COVID-19 testing center, saying “more people should be tested for the virus to address the national health emergency.”
He said suspected COVID-19 patients from Rizal, Pasig and other neighboring cities could use Marikina’s facility to contain the spread of the viral respiratory disease.
“The DOH should not treat Marikina as a client applying for a license to operate a laboratory. It should be a partnership,” Teodoro told reporters.
He also appealed to the national government to make the locally made testing kits commercially available in a bid to unclog the procedures of the DOH.
Dr. Imelda Mateo, head of the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center, assured the DOH that the standards and protocols set by the DOH and WHO would be followed in operating the testing laboratory.