MANILA – The Quezon City government is set to open its own molecular laboratory in the first week of September, Mayor Joy Belmonte announced Saturday.
Belmonte said the opening of the Quezon City molecular laboratory will help the local government to hasten the turn-around time of getting results on coronavirus disease (Covid-19) tests as well as to immediately provide medical interventions to those who are infected.
"With our laboratory dedicate only to Quezon City patients, makakaasa kayo na yung (you can expect that the) turn around time will be two to three days maximum na po yan," she said.
Belmonte said they are still waiting for the accreditation of the Department of Health to be able to fully operate the molecular laboratory.
Once functional, the laboratory can examine 1,000 specimens a day, she added.
"Hopefully with that, the efforts of the Quezon City will be ramped up," Belmonte said.
The laboratory could fast-track the test result, she said. However, Belmonte said it could also slow down the increase in cases.
"Mabilis din makita yung result, kaakibat niyan yung mabilis na pagkilos natin (The faster we see results, we can immediately act on it)," she said.
The faster the results will come out, the faster the local government could be able to trace, isolate, and immediately treat the patients, Belmonte said.
"There's a rise then there's a fall. That's how we see it," she noted.
Meanwhile, Belmonte said the local government will provide face masks to the resident, prioritizing those vulnerable individuals including senior citizens and those with commodities.
The move is part of the government's strategic plan under the "Mask para sa Masa" program, to provide about 30 million free face masks to Filipinos amid the health crisis.
The DOH also turned over additional masks, personal protective equipment (PPE), and hygiene kits to the local government, which will be distributed to the residents.
The officials of the Covid-19 Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) team, the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19, and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) visited the Quezon City to discuss how to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic as well as the management of the cases while the country is reviving the economy.
At the sidelines of the visit, some 182 barangay officials in the city took their oath to be part of the "Barangay Bida Brigades" under the 'Bida ang may disiplina' campaign of the government amid the pandemic.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government and the DOH earlier launched the “BIDA ang may Disiplina: Solusyon sa Covid-19” national advocacy campaign to encourage people's participation in the government measures to combat the dreaded disease and further contain the local transmission within villages.
The Barangay Disiplina Brigades are composed of community members, including barangay tanods, who were tasked to remind their village constituents on adhering to the minimum health standards.
They were also tasked to call the attention of those who violate the government health protocols. (PNA)