Marikina COVID-19 testing facility must meet DOH requirements: Año
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said there is nothing wrong with the decision of Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro to open their testing center but advised him to get approval from the Department of Health (DOH).
“If he really needs it badly. But he must also pursue the approval. Anyway he is a local chief executive and he is concerned with the welfare of his people,” Año said in a Viber message to The Daily Manila Shimbun.
Año said pushing with the opening on Friday will not violate the Bayanihan Heal As One Act.
“It’s between Marikina LGU and DOH,” he said.
In a statement last Tuesday, Teodoro said the city is just invoking their “local autonomy”.
“This is under the mandate of every local government units. I don’t care if they will file a case against me,” he said.
Teodoro added that Marikina complied with all requirements, including medical personnel experienced in handling COVID-19 cases and around 7,000 test kits for their residents.
However, in a TV interview on Wednesday, Teodoro said DOH told them to operate by Monday as their medical personnel need some training.
“I told them. We have a public health emergency. Every day is important,” he said.
“I appeal to DOH, if it’s just a one-day training, why not do it today or tomorrow so that by Friday we can operate. We are fully complied with the training equipment,” he added.
But in the same interview, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the testing facility center has not yet complied with biosafety standards and some equipment were installed.
“We cannot give license to this facility right now because it lacks (some requirements). We are here and offering to help them so that they can immediately open the facility,” she said.
“They are still not compliant in their physical structure and on their workflow process… this will cause risks in the community of Marikina,” Vergeire added.
Based on DOH data, Marikina City has 100 COVID-19 cases with eight deaths and six recoveries. Ella Dionisio/DMS