Paranaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez, in a post on his Facebook account, announced today that the city will start mass testing for Covid-19 tomorrow, April 20, 2020.
“This is a very welcome development in our fight against Covid-19 because this will enable us to identify possible cases for early isolation and help curb the spread of this deadly disease,” expressed Olivarez.
Three testing sites will initially be activated in the city. The three donated sites have also been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The city is also in plans of opening more isolation facilities just in case there is continued increase in Covid-19 cases in the city.
In line with this, Olivarez announced the need to hire more health workers to help out their frontline personnel.
The additional hiring of more doctors, nurses, medial technologists and IT personnel, among others, will help beef up the City Health Office in its efforts to contain the pandemic.
“Before, the lack of test kits hampered us from performing enough tests.With the new FDA-approved rapid testing kits, additional personnel and isolation facilities, we hope to ramp up our capability to at least 200 tests per day,” noted Olivarez.
For her part, Dr. Olga Virtusio of the City Health Office said the rapid tests will allow the early isolation of possible cases prior to confirmatory tests using PCR testing in tertiary institutions like RITM.
She said the 200 test kits can cover the 200 suspected cases in the city with the additional test kits to be assigned first to vulnerable populations like senior citizen, pregnant women and those with co-morbidities then eventually to the general population.
“Hopefully, by the second week of mass testing, we shall already be able to do tests on the general population. This will greatly enhance our capability to reduce transmission,” said Virtusio, adding that separate testing areas for the general population will also be developed.
According to the Facebook post, one of the additional isolation facilities will be launched at the Ospital ng Paranaque tomorrow. The other locations they are looking at will be in some public schools spread out in the city which they will announce in the coming weeks.