Palace announces opening of 4 mega swabbing centers

MANILA, Philippines – In a bid to scale up mass testing in the country for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Palace announced the availability of four mega swabbing facilities.

In his May 5 media briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. confirmed the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) of the establishment and operation of these mega swabbing facilities.

“Ang apat na mega swabbing facilities po ay sa Enderun Colleges sa Taguig, ang Philippine Arena sa Bulacan, ang Mall of Asia in Pasay, at ang Palacio de Maynila dito po sa syudad ng Maynila,” said Secretary Roque.

Philippine Arena mega swabbing center
Philippine Arena set to to be converted into a Mega Quarantine Facility and a Mega Swabbing Facility by the government | Photo Credit: Facebook/ Mark Villar

These mega swabbing facilities were built through government and private sector collaboration, according to Vivencio Dizon, Deputy Chief Implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, also designated as the Chief Coordinator of the Trace, Treat, Test (T3) Program, who was Secretary Roque’s resource person in today’s media briefing.

Dizon, who is also Bases and Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO, reported that the country now has 22 laboratories as of May 4, 2020, with an additional 56 more being readied to reach the target of 78 laboratories all over the Philippines by the end of May 2020. He added that the daily average of tests currently being done is only 5,000 and the country’s target is to achieve 30,000 tests per day.

Dizon further said that the immediate goal is to test 25,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and Overseas Filipinos (OFs) who are currently hosted in various quarantine facilities. This is to decongest said quarantine facilities in order to accommodate more OFWs and OFs in the coming weeks as soon as the ban on inbound flights is lifted.

— The Summit Express

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