Manila opens 2nd swab testing molecular laboratory

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    THE city government of Manila yesterday launched it second swab testing molecular laboratory at the Sta. Ana Hospital, which Mayor Isko Moreno said will further boost the city’s swab testing capacity.

    The testing center was put up in collaboration with the Ayala Foundation and the Ayala Group of Companies.

    “With this molecular laboratory, the City of Manila will soon be capable of processing a thousand swab tests a day,” Moreno said, adding that “all costs for the swab tests will be shouldered by the city government.”

    The Manila City government has been offering free swab tests in its walk-in and drive thru COVID-19 testing centers, which are open to Manileños and non-Manileños alike.

    Prior to the operation of the first swab testing center at the Sta. Ana Hospital three months ago, samples from Manila’s hospitals and quarantine facilities were processed by the Philippine General Hospital and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Alabang, Muntinlupa.

    The Sta. Ana Hospital also houses the Manila City Infectious Disease Control Center whose facilities were assigned for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

    Fernando Zobel Ayala, president of the Ayala Corporation, said the project is a testament to the partnership between his family’s business and the city of Manila, which he said started way back in 1834.

    “This is a great partnership. We have a strong connection with the City of Manila as our company started here in 1834,” he said during the formal launching of the facility.

    He lauded the holistic approach taken by the city government in its fight against the COVID-19 saying it is the way forward.

    He added the Ayala Group and the Ayala Foundation will continue to work with the city government in the battle against the deadly virus.

    As of Monday, September 28, the city health department recorded 64 new COVID-19 cases and 2 new fatalities. 223 new recoveries have been recorded.

    Moreno said there Manila City’s six hospitals have a 32 percent occupancy rate. The hospitals include the Sta. Ana Hospital, Ospital ng Manila, Ospital ng Sampaloc, Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, Ospital ng Tondo and the Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital.