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Manila builds own swab testing facility for the coronavirus

Citizens undergo coronavirus testing in a quarantined community in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, Philippines, on May 11, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

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MANILA, May 18, 2020, The Manila Times. The Manila City government has begun building its own testing facility for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) to increase its fighting chance against the virus, The Manila Times reported.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso announced on Saturday that the Sta. Ana Hospital would serve as a confirmatory, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing facility in the city.

The city has the second most number of virus cases in the National Capital Region. It registered 997 cases so far, with 89 deaths and 163 recoveries.

“This is our long term plan for the city,” the mayor said during his social media address Saturday night. “The room and the laboratory is now being built for us to prepare for Covid-19 in the coming months.”

When finished, the testing facility will further ramp up the swab testing capacity of the city, which already conducted 5,785 confirmatory tests, according to the Manila Health Department.

The city has also conducted 24,832 rapid antibody tests as of Saturday.

Manila’s residents are also set to receive the second tranche of the cash assistance worth P1,000 under the City Amelioration Crisis Assistance Fund (Cacaf) starting Monday.

Domagoso said the cash assistance would be distributed to 607,000 families in 896 barangay or villages.

“Sana ito po ay makatulong sa inyong pangangailangan kahit na ito ay maliit lamang (We hope this could help with your needs though it may be small,” he said.

“Tulad po ng unang distribution, house to house po muli ang gagawing distribution ng mga barangay sa second tranche ng Cacaf (Similar to the first distribution, the second trance of the Cacaf will be distributed house to house),” the mayor tweeted on Sunday.

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