City aims faster Covid-19 testing turnaround with more labs, facilities

WITH the opening of a new molecular laboratory and establishing more swab test facilities accessible to the public, the Davao City Government is aiming to achieve a fast turnaround in releasing Covid-19 test results.

Covid-19 Task Force spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser said the City Government can swab 1,500 to 2,000 people per day and the results can be released within 24 to 48 hours.

On June 29, the City Government opened the Los Amigos Molecular Laboratory, increasing the number of testing.

The three newly-opened swab test areas are the Shanghai Gym Swab site in Matina Aplaya, Daniel Perez Elementary School in Bunawan, and Mintal Gym Swab site.

“We are very glad to announce to people that, before we experienced bottlenecks in the release of results, now we have a turnaround of 24-48 hours and a maximum of three days,” Schlosser said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.

The City is also currently working with Brokenshire Hospital and Davao International Airport molecular laboratories to process specimens.

Schlosser said the City Government has established more swab sites to address concerns on the lack of transportation which has been causing bottlenecks in the previous weeks.

She added that a swab site in Toril was also placed, as well as swab corners in the district health offices to cater to those with Influenza-like infections (ILIs) or those with no known exposure exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms.

The newly-established swab sites will be added to the city’s major swabbing areas, namely Santa-Ana Swab Test Center, which caters to F1-close contacts, Magsaysay Park (for F2 and F3 contacts), and Crocodile Park (for all types of close contacts).

Schlosser said the additional swab sites cater to all types of close contacts.

With more swab sites, she said people can go to swab sites that are “efficient and comfortable for them, with this more tests can be conducted.”

“The more cases we have the more we have to heighten testing capacity to mitigate the spread of infection,” Schlosser said.

The city’s intensified swabbing is in accordance to Executive Order (EO) 20, “An Order Providing for Mandatory Swabbing of All F1, F2, and F3 Contacts of an RT-PCR [Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction] Confirmed Positive Case of Covid-19 in Davao City.”

Meanwhile, the proposed ordinance penalizing individuals who will not submit themselves for Covid-19 testing was put on hold.

Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, committee chairperson on health, said there is a need to focus on F1 contacts since they are the ones that contribute to the bulk of active cases in the city.

As of July 14, Davao City has a total of 27,587 total cases, wherein active cases are at 3,205 after recording 206 new cases. Recoveries are at 23,430, while deaths are at 952. (With reports from CIO)

SunStar Davao

SunStar Davao

SunStar Davao is Davao City's most sought after community content provider in both print and online. It is part of the SunStar news network in the Philippines. Sun.Star Davao started as a bi-weekly newspaper Peryodiko Dabaw in December 1985 by Elpidio G. Damaso as the so-called alternative press during the end days of the Marcos dictatorship. It started publishing five times a week the following year and was relaunched as Ang Peryodiko Dabaw on September 7, 1987, marking the entry of new investors and its use of desktop publishing, while its Davao City competitors were still using letterpress.

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