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Manila unveils 5th walk-in COVID lab

Pat C. Santos



Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna on Thursday led the launch of the capital’s fifth walk-in COVID-19 serology testing center at the Ospital ng Tondo (OsTon).

As part of the city government’s continuing efforts against the coronavirus disease pandemic, the new testing facility will be open Monday to Friday and is expected to conduct 100 tests daily starting at 6 a.m.

It will cater to residents and non-residents alike, Domagoso noted as he also stressed the city’s inclusive approach in battling the viral respiratory illness.

“It’s going to be given for free by our Manila City government. I take pity on the people. Many of them need to be tested for work, but they have to shell out their own money. Businesses are also not making any profits and yet they also need to spend for their workers’ testing. That is why we’ve always wanted to offer this service,” expressed Domagoso.

“Everyone is welcome to get tested here, even those not residing in Manila. The COVID-19 pandemic is a universal problem. We have to approach it inclusively. That is why this is open for all and for free,” he added.

Meanwhile, Domagoso also bared that Manila’s second reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratory will start operations very soon and will be capable of conducting around 1,000 swab tests per day.

“We will strengthen the capability of the local government by means of the “gold standard” way of testing. We are about to finish the construction of an additional swab laboratory testing area with two machines given to us by DoH (Department of Health) and DBM (Department of Budget and Management,” the mayor shared.

The walk-in test center in OsTon is the fifth to be opened by Moreno and Lacuna, with the drive-through free rapid testing centers remaining open and continue to test motorists for free.

To date, the city now has five walk-in serology testing centers, two drive-thru testing sites, and one swab testing laboratory along with the holding of regular mobile serology testing activities.