MOA Arena converted into COVID-19 Mega Swabbing Facility
The unexpected outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic has greatly affected our country in almost every aspect of human life. Amidst this crisis, the Philippine National Police, upon the instructions of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte extends every possible assistance to the community in maintaining peace and order and assist the local government in the delivery of much-needed government services. With this, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has created a medical augmentation dubbed as the National Headquarters Medical Reserve Force (MRF), it is composed of policemen with health-related courses and professions amid the rising number of infections caused by the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19). The SM MOA Management (Sy Family) has allowed the use of the events and concert venue as a testing facility, having determined that one of the best contributions and ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is thru swab testing. During the testing procedure, clients are advised to follow an operational process. Safety and security measures within the facility are being supervised and enforced by the PNP Reactionary Standby Support Force (PNP RSSF), such as observing safe distancing/orderly queuing, wearing face masks/face shields, hand-washing, and enforcing safety protocols. With the numerous testing booths manned by the PNP, DOH and BCDA front liners, the mega swabbing facility can accommodate thousands of tests per day. Supplies and test kits are provided by the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) in coordination with the BCDA. With the recent change of schedule, the facility is operational from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., from Monday to Friday, and operates even during official holidays to cater to clients who cannot avail of the test during regular days as determined by the Swabbing Facility Administrator. Qualified walk-in clients with endorsement are being taken care in a registration booth manned by BCDA personnel assisted by six (6) proficient encoders. Pregnant women, elderly, PWDs and families with small children are given priority treatment.
Having a mega swabbing site this big is very significant in our fight against COVID-19 especially in assisting our uniformed personnel in the PNP, servicing different LEAs, different LGUs, government offices/agencies, and the general public in support to the government’s National Action Plan (NAP). With its thousands of daily testing capacity, we are assured that the increase in specimen collection capacity is matched in laboratory processing capacity.
The Facility Management Team has effectively addressed inevitable emergency health situations/ conditions such as nose bleeding, reducing mandibular dislocation (lockjaw), and assisting normal delivery to a pregnant woman that transpired within the facility. This unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has placed our MRF/DOH front liners under enormous and extraordinary pressure, putting their physical, mental, and social well-being at risk, exposing them to excessive stress and can have many harmful consequences on their emotional and mental well-being. Senator Ronald Bato Dela Rosa made mention in his letter of commendation that the danger that our front liners face every day as they fight the unseen enemy is far greater than the danger of running after or confronting criminal elements.
The PNP Medical Reserve Force has been committed to serving the country with its mandate for more than a year now as pioneer medical front liners and last February, its management was then transferred under the PNP Health Service. The PNP Medical Reserve Force (MRF) under the guidance and direction of PBGEN LUISITO MAGNAYE as the Director of PNP Health Service and at the same time the MRF Commander remains optimistic with its endeavor in partnership with BCDA, DOH, and the Philippine Red Cross with the active support among stakeholders.
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