COVID-19 TESTING LAB. Ongoing repair works at the laboratory unit of the Sta. Ana Hospital to be used as a Covid-19 testing lab. Manila City is ramping up its testing capability by putting up its own Covid-19 testing lab. (Photo from Manila PIO)

MANILA – The city of Manila will soon have its own testing laboratory for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) at the Sta. Ana Hospital to further ramp up its testing capability.

During his situation report via Facebook live on Saturday evening, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso said he wants to be ahead of the coronavirus pandemic by putting up measures to help contain the disease.

Magtatayo po tayo ng sarili nating (We will put up our own) testing laboratory. This is our long-term plan for you, for the city,” he said.

Domagoso said that the city will have its own PCR machine to help determine cases of Covid-19.

"The room and the laboratory area are now being built bilang paghahanda ng inyong pamahalaang lungsod sa mga darating na buwan ng buhay natin na kabahagi natin si Covid-19 (the room and the laboratory area are now being built as part of the preparations of the city government for the coming months that we have Covid-19),” he added.

Currently, the city also has its own Manila Infectious Disease Control Center (MIDCC) with a 66-bed capacity built even before the coronavirus outbreak, also situated at the Sta. Ana Hospital.

The MIDCC started operations on March 17 with only 14 rooms and was slowly expanded.

This is exclusively dedicated to Covid-19 patients.

As of May 16, after Manila was placed under modified enhanced community quarantine, Sta. Ana MIDCC admitted 111 patients and recorded 75 recoveries and 18 deaths.

Furthermore, the city of Manila also bought two analog mobile x-rays while eight more mobile digital x-ray machines will be acquired for Covid-19 patients.

Yung mga pasyente ng Covid ang kailangan silang i-X-ray, ayoko bumaba pa sila..yung x-ray dadalhin sa kani kanilang mga kwarto (Covid-19 patients need to undergo x-ray and I don’t want them to go out of their rooms and move around the hospital, that is why the x-ray machines will be brought to their rooms),” Domagoso said.

These mobile x-ray machines will be distributed to the city’s six public district hospitals.

These are the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, Ospital ng Tondo, Justice Abad Santos Medical Center, Ospital ng Sampaloc, Ospital ng Maynila, and the Sta. Ana Hospital.

Bakit po walo eh anim lang ang ospital natin? Para po yung dalawa ay ating pang-abang. Ayokong in the middle of everything, nasira yung machine, wala tayong extra (Why eight when we only have six hospitals? The other two will be used as spare). I really wanted to prepare our city with this kind of equipment, facilities, to empower our medical institution and our front-liners in the health sectors," he said.

Domagoso also urged Manilenyos to register at to be able to get real-time data and information on the probable and confirmed Covid-19 cases in their respective areas. (PNA)