COVID-19 mass testing to start in Lipa City

Arnell Ozaeta - Philstar.com
COVID-19 mass testing to start in Lipa City
A health care worker takes a swab from a woman at a mobile testing site.
The STAR / Walter Bollozos

LIPA CITY, Batangas — The mass testing for the novel coronavirus will start in the city by next week according to Lipa City Mayor Eric Africa.

Lipa City has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Batangas based on the data of the Department of Health Region 4-A.

As of April 17, Lipa City has 20 COVID-19 cases, with five deaths including a 23-day-old infant. 

DOH said seven of the positive cases were doctors and nurses in Lipa City hospitals. 

"Though Lipa has high COVID-19 cases, the city still has not registered a local transmission," Africa said in Filipino.

Africa said mass testing will start this coming week after the DOH approved their Gene Xpert machine at Ospital ng Lipa. 

"The machine (Gene Xpert) has been donated to the government seven years ago for tuberculosis patients but still unused. I had it checked and found that it is being used for COVID-19 testing. I bought a cartridge and had the machine repaired so Lipa residents can use it. It was already approved by the DOH," Africa said in Filipino. 

Africa said the machine and the rapid testing kits will hasten the process of identifying carriers of COVID-19. 

Meanwhile, Lipa City started the distribution of the social amelioration funds by the Department of Social Welware and Development worth P6,500. 

But Africa said that only 42,754 families out of the 102,000 families in Lipa will receive the financial assistance from the DSWD. 

Africa promised to provide a half sack of rice and relief goods for those families who will not receive cash assistance, which will come from the funds of the local government. 

2019 N-COV


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