Manila starts targeted COVID-19 mass testing

Manila starts targeted COVID-19 mass testing
A tarpaulin honoring healthcare workers is placed at the entrance of the Sta. Ana Hospital in Manila on April 7, 2020.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The city of Manila can now conduct localized, targeted coronavirus mass testing to slow the spread of the contagion in the Philippine capital and allow authorities to isolate infected residents. 

Six district hospitals and the Delpan quarantine facility can conduct 232 swab tests each day or 1,624 tests per week, the city’s public information office said Monday. Manila has so far conducted 934 swab tests.

Here are the health facilities capable of conducting COVID-19 test swabs:

  • Manila Health Department/Delpan quarantine facility – 50 tests per day
  • Ospital ng Maynila – 20 tests per day
  • Sta. Ana Hospital/Manila Infectious Disease Control Center – 30 tests per day
  • Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center – 50 tests per day
  • Ospital ng Tondo – 17 tests per day
  • Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital – 17 tests per day
  • Ospital ng Sampaloc – 50 tests per day

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine or the University of the Philippines’ Philippine General Hospital will process the swab tests. UP-PGH Director Gab Legaspi said the hospital can release the results in two to three days.

The first localized, targeting mass testing was conducted in Valenzuela City on Saturday. The local governments of Quezon City and Pasig as well as the province of Cavite will also conduct mass testing.

The National Task Force against COVID-19 said aggressive or targeted testing and contact tracing of virus carriers will be the “game changer” in the country’s fight against COVID-19.

The Philippines has 4,648 confirmed COVID-19 infections with 297 deaths and 197 recoveries. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: March 27, 2021 - 8:09pm

Photo shows members of the Philippine National Police deployed in Manila amid COVID-19 threat. The STAR/Edd Gumban

President Rodrigo Duterte on March 16, 2020 declares an enhanced community quarantine over all of mainland Luzon, an expansion of an earlier general community quarantine over the National Capital Region.

The entire National Capital Region—16 cities and a municipality—is under community quarantine from March 15 to April 14, which means the enforcement of social distancing measures like letting fewer people on public transportation, reduced store hours, and the possibiity of curfews.

According to a memorandum issued by the Palace on Saturday, March 14, the quarantine means that "movement of people shall be limited to accessing basic necessities and work; and uniformed personnel and quarantine officers shall be present at border points."

Travel restrictions in and out of the capital will also be implemented.

March 27, 2021 - 8:09pm

A labor group says another lockdown will never resolve rising COVID-19 cases in the Philippines after the government announced that Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal are placed under the enhanced community quarantine starting Monday.

“The Duterte government seems to be deliberate in focusing its efforts in imposing quarantine and lockdown measures instead of addressing the rising cases of COVID-19 and the worsening state of the pandemic through medical solutions and scientific approach,” says Defend Jobs Philippines.



March 27, 2021 - 7:06pm

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says the implementation of enhanced community quarantine is meant to slow down the increase of COVID-19 cases, so hospitals and health workers will not be overwhelmed.

March 27, 2021 - 6:37pm

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announces that Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal are placed under enhanced community quarantine starting Monday, March 29.

January 19, 2021 - 6:04pm

Tuguegarao City will be placed under enhanced community quarantine from January 20 to 29 due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the city.

Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba approved the request of Tuguegarao Mayor Jefferson Soriano to place the city under ECQ for 10 days.

According to the Cagayan Provincial Information Office, the city currently has 246 active cases.


Posted by Cagayan Provincial Information Office on Tuesday, 19 January 2021
April 29, 2020 - 7:51pm

Batangas, one of the provinces hardest hit by the novel coronavirus, has reported no new cases of the disease for two consecutive days.

The provincial DOH Office says the number of COVID-19 cases in the province stood at 91 with no new cases as of Wednesday afternoon.

Lipa City has the most cases with 26, followed by Batangas City (21) and Nasugbu (11).

Tanauan City has the fourth most cases with eight, followed by Bauan (5) and Alitagtag (3). Cuenca and Sto. Tomas City had two cases each, while the municipalities of Calaca, Lemery, Lian, Lobo, Mabini, Mataas na Kahoy, Padre Garcia, San Jose, San Juan, San Pascual and Taal had one case each, respectively. — The Filipino Connection

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