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Palace announces opening of mega swabbing centers

May 06, 2020 - Wednesday 6:05 PM by MDM

Article Banner Image PROTECTING EACH OTHER. Health workers help each other put on personal protective equipment (PPE) at the mega swabbing facility at the Enderun Colleges in Taguig. DARWIN WEE / NTFCOVID19

MANILA — Malacañang on Wednesday announced the availability of four mega swabbing facilities in a bid to scale up mass testing in the country for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In his May 5 media briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. confirmed the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF)’s approval of the establishment and operation of the 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,” Roque said.

The 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. MDM