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Manila starts building own virus testing lab

The Manila City government has started building its own COVID-19 testing laboratory at the Sta. Ana Hospital in a bid to strengthen its mass testing operations as a response against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Manila City Mayor Francisco "Isko" Domagoso announced on Saturday, May 16, the construction of the testing laboratory which will provide citizens a "gold standard" testing capability against COVID-19.

"Magpapatayo po tayo ng sarili nating testing laboratory. This is our long term plan for you, for the city," Domagoso said via Facebook Live.

"As we speak today, the room and the laboratory area is now being built bilang paghahanda ng inyong pamahalaang lungsod sa mga darating na buwan ng buhay natin na kabahagi natin si COVID-19," he added.

Domagoso said the testing laboratory would help in increasing the number of confirmatory tests being conducted in the nation's capital.

According to the Manila Health Department, about 1,533 confirmatory tests have already been conducted in the city.

The Mayor also announced that the city government has acquired eight mobile digital x-ray machines for its district hospitals.

This means patients no longer have to physically move to the hospital's X-Ray room to avoid exposure from COVID-19.

"Ayokong in the middle of everything, nasira yung machine, wala tayong extra. I really wanted to prepare our city with this kind of equipment, facilities, to empower our medical institution and our frontliners in the health sectors," Domagoso said.

Meanwhile, the Manila government said families will begin receiving the second tranche of the P1,000 cash aid from the City Amelioration Crisis Assistance Fund (CACAF) next week.

In a Facebook post, the Manila Public Information Office (PIO) said that Mayor Domagoso has approved the ordinance for the distribution of the second tranche of the P1,000 financial assistance for Manila Residents.

"Ito naman po ang aasahan niyong ayuda sa darating na dalawang lingo ng buhay natin ngayong Mayo. Naaprubahan na po last week ang second tranche ng CACAF. Tayo po ay muling magbibigay sa inyo mga kababayan ng P1,000 pesos per family sa targeted 607,000 families sa Lungsod ng Maynila," Domagoso said in a Facebook Live.

"Iyan po ay mararamdaman niyo na this coming week. We will give that immediately. In our own little way, mga kababayan, in our own little way, maibsan man lang namin yung mga pangangailangan niyo sa buhay," he added.

Domagoso added that public school students in Manila who are in Kinder up to Grade 12 will start receiving food packs and hygiene kits within the month.

The Manila mayor said about 275,000 students will benefit from the food packs and hygiene kits.

In April, 568,000 families in Manila were given the first tranche of the P1,000 cash aid to mitigate the hardships from the enhanced community quarantine.

Topics: COVID-19 , City Amelioration Crisis Assistance Fund , Manila Health Department , Francisco "Isko" Domagoso , Manila Public Information Office
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