Manila buys 3 COVID machines capable of testing 16,800 weekly
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno inspects an Abbott serology testing machine, which can test 50 blood samples per hour.
STAR/ File

Manila buys 3 COVID machines capable of testing 16,800 weekly

(The Philippine Star) - July 12, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila city government has purchased three COVID-19 testing machines capable of testing 16,800 residents a week.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers will be the first to be tested using the serology testing machines from Abbott.

According to Abbott, the testing machine has an accuracy rate of 99.6 percent. However, confirmatory swab tests are still required under public health protocols.

Similar to rapid test kits, the Abbott serology testing machine uses blood samples to test residents for COVID-19.

The Manila city government is the first local government unit to procure these serology testing machines, Moreno said.

The machines can test 50 samples per hour. On 16-hour shifts of medtech workers, the three machines can process 16,800 tests per week, he said.  Doctor, nurses, healthcare workers, starting with Ospital ng Maynila, will be prioritzed.

The testing machines will be deployed at the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, Ospital ng Sampaloc and Ospital ng Maynila.

The mayor said the city government purchased the machines worth P6 million each as a long-term investment.

Aside from COVID-19, it can also help the city government’s public healthcare facilities in detecting cancer, hepatitis, thyroid diseases and other infectious diseases.

“Even after the COVID-19 crisis, we can still use these machines for the benefit of our fellow Manileños. I think this is a good long-term investment for us,” Moreno said.

The procurement is in line with hiss action plan to combat the COVID-19 pandemic through mass testing and early detection.

The Manila city government recently launched its own COVID-19 testing laboratory at the Sta. Ana Hospital, where the Manila Infectious Disease Control Center is located.

As of Friday, 158,520 rapid tests and 16,137 swab tests have been conducted by the Manila city government.

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