DOH disapproves Marikina COVID-19 Testing Center due to location, mayor confirms

Image via Marikina LGU
  • Marikina Mayor Marcelino” Marcy” Teodoro confirmed that the Department of Health disapproved the Marikina  COVID-19 Testing Center
  • Teodoro said he received a letter from the DOH saying that they must build a separate building for the facility 
  • He noted that the local government dedicated the entire sixth floor of the City Health Office building with an exclusive elevator for the testing center

The Department of Health (DOH) has disapproved the Marikina COVID-19 Testing Center, Marikina Mayor Marcelino” Marcy” Teodoro confirmed on Thursday, March 26.

Image from Marikina LGU

In a letter received by the local government of Marikina dated March 24, the DOH recommended that the proposed COVID-19 testing facility should be located in a separate location/facility outside the City Health Office so that cross-infection is minimized and less foot traffic will be observed for the protection of staff and Marikina residents.

“Sabi ng DOH, kailangan daw ilipat ito sa ibang lugar, sariling gusali dapat daw ang laboratoryo. Hindi maaaring ilagay sa City Health Office building. ‘Yong City Health Office ay nagbigay tayo ng isang exclusive elevator doon, isang buong palapag ay nakalaan sa laboratoryo natin sa Marikina City COVID-19 Testing Center. Pero hindi pa rin ito pinayagan ng DOH, ang sinasabi nila, kailangan magtayo ng isang hiwalay at bagong gusali para sa COVID Testing Center,” he disclosed.

The mayor added that the DOH also disapproved the Amang  Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center (ARMMC), which is a DOH-retained Level 3 hospital, as an alternative testing facility.

“Ayaw din nila sa ARMMC na pinangangasiwaan nila, kahit makakasunod sa ideal set up ng laboratory gusto talaga nila bagong pasilidad,” he said. “Nagtataka kami kung bakit ang RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine) ay isang co-shared facility na naroon ang admin office at may ospital pa, samantalang kami ay hindi kami pinayagang mag-operate ng aming testing laboratory.”

Image via Marikina LGU

Reacting to the DOH’s decision, the mayor noted that given the health crisis in the country, the health department should set different protocol for the establishment of COVID-19 centers.

The mayor wants the facility to be operational as soon as possible because the country is already under public health emergency and this will address the need for mass testing in order to contain the transmission and spread of coronavirus.