MCIA starts operation of COVID-19 testing lab
CEBU CITY, June 23 (PIA) — Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas, in a virtual press briefing on June 22, 2020 has announced that the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) testing laboratory started processing arriving passengers on June 21, 2020.
“Given the machine that they have kaya nila mu-test up to 2,000 tests per day. Mao na ang capacity sa taga usa ka makina. Pero I understand, duha ilang makina mao na kaya nila mudagan ug 4,000 test a day depende sa ilang operationalization (Given the machine that they have, they can handle up to 2,000 tests per day. That’s the capacity of each machine. But it is my understanding that they have two machines, so they can run up to 4,000 tests a day depending on their operationalization),” said Bernadas.
Bernadas added that the arriving passengers will be billeted in hotels with each passenger occupying one room.
At present, there are no protocols set in place for arriving passengers.
Once the passenger tests positive for COVID-19, he or she shall undergo a 14-day quarantine.
If the passenger develops symptoms, he or she will be transferred to a hospital.
The test results of the passengers are tagged based on their address.
MCIA is the first airport in the country with a dedicated COVID-19 testing laboratory.
This was built through the initiative of the GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation and in partnership with the private sector.
“The MCIA COVID laboratory will augment the government’s testing capacity and fast track the processing of arriving OFWs and seafarers, and help decongest Manila,” said MCIAA General Manager Steve Didican in a press statement on June 1, 2020.
Meanwhile, DOH will have the regulatory function over the said facility.
“Dili ni sa DOH nga facility. Ug atong buhaton diri sa regional office, monitoring lang sa ilang compliance sa ilang lisensya (This is not a DOH facility. What we will do here in the regional office is to monitor their compliance to their license),“ said Bernadas.
With the MCIA testing laboratory up and running, there are now a total of four COVID-19 testing facilities in Cebu.
The other tree facilities are Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) subnational laboratory, DOH-TB Reference laboratory, and the Allegiant Regional Care (ARC) laboratory. (poc/PIA7)