QC bolsters community-based testing in 6 districts
CALOOCAN CITY, May 7 (PIA)—The Quezon City government build up its community-based testing centers for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in each of its six districts in anticipation of increased number of cases of the dreaded virus.
“Testing is a key part of the local government’s campaign of identifying, isolating and treating COVID-19 positive patients, while preventing its spread to communities,” said Dr. Rolly Cruz of the Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (QCESU).
Cruz allayed worries about the increase in the number of cases, stressing that it is an indication that the local government is on the right track in its fight against COVID-19.
“Testing is like driving with headlights on, which is way better than driving in the dark. Through it, we can properly isolate and give care to our patients who tested positive,” said Cruz.
The local government recently opened community-based testing centers in Districts 1, 2 and 3.
The District 1 testing center is situated at the Esteban Abada Elementary School while the Batasan National High School is the site of the testing area for District 2. For District 3, the city government assigned the Old Balara Covered Court as testing site, which will open today (Wednesday).
The three centers will operate from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and aim to conduct around 50 tests per day.
Quezon City also has testing centers in District 4 (Quezon City Experience or QCX), District 5 (SB Park Novaliches) and District 6 (University of the Philippines’ Asian Institute of Tourism along Commonwealth Avenue).
In addition, tests are continuously done by the local government hospitals as well as by the QCESU.
“Sa tulong ng ating testing centers sa mga distrito at iba pang mga lugar, may kakayahan na tayong masuri ang mas marami nating kababayan,” said Mayor Joy Belmonte.
In partnership with various laboratories, hospitals and partners, Cruz said the city expects a total of 140 samples to be analyzed and tested per day.
“Even with that, there are certain setbacks in terms turnaround time for results. Hopefully, with the help of the national government, this can also be addressed,” said Cruz.
“We recognize the enormous challenges being faced by the national government so we profusely thank them for assisting our local government unit,” he added.
Joseph Juico, project manager of the community-based testing, said Quezon City is also exploring the establishment of its own Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory and the beefing up of QCESU’s manpower for contact tracing.
“Hopefully, we can also enter into partnerships with more laboratories to further increase our testing capacity to 300-500 tests per day,” said Juico.
Juico said they have tested more than 3,000 patients to date, on pace to meet the target of 10,000 patients this month. (QC PAISD/PIA-NCR)