Iloilo City eyes more coronavirus testing centers

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MANILA – The local government of Iloilo City on Friday said they are working towards the accreditation of three more hospitals as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing centers.

"We are pushing for one more government hospital to be accredited here in Western Visayas and 2 private hospitals also, which are interested," Iloilo City Jerry Treñas told ANC's Headstart. 

Treñas said the Western Visayas Medical Center already services specimen coming from the whole region, including Palawan and Romblon.

"You can imagine how many specimens come in every day," he said.

He urged the Department of Health and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to use the remaining days of the extended enhanced community quarantine to accredit more medical facilities around the country.

"As we go into the new normal, I think it is a must that we have the capacity to test and test more," he said.

The DOH recently accredited the testing laboratory of the City of Marikina following weeks of delay.

"While I understand the problems and the intricacies on how to get accreditation, I think RITM and DOH should look at itself as an enabler for additional testing centers and not as a hindrance towards that," he said.

The city remains under an ECQ with 9 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 and one death, the mayor said.

Treñas said Presidential Spokespeson Harry Roque explained to him that there are certain conditions that the inter-agency task force on COVID-19 response would like to happen before they shift to a general community quarantine.

"We already have our isolation centers. We also have our rapid tests and PCR testing kits. These were donated by businessmen coming from Iloilo City. While we know that the numbers are very low, we respect the decision of the IATF. We will always abide by their decision. 

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