Mass testing not yet possible in Davao City, Sara says

Apr. 27, 2020

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Despite the effort to establish COVID-19 testing laboratories and the conduct of random testing in the city, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the local government cannot do the mass testing yet.

Speaking in a radio interview on Saturday, April 25, Sara said the effort to establish testing laboratories is only to help capacitate the hospitals with necessary facilities for COVID-19.

“I just want to clarify and manage the expectation of the people, this deed is just to increase the testing capacity of the city, but we still cannot conduct mass testing,” she explained.

The mayor also confirmed that an inspection is already done with the urban health center, a target facility that can be converted into a testing laboratory.

“We just need to redesign it a little bit, for it to comply with the requirement of Biosafety Level 2 measures, for it to be operated as COVID-19 testing center,” she said.

The Department of Health has also approved the use of the Davao TB Reference Laboratory as a COVID-19 testing center which will be using a GeneXpert machine. The city now has four machines that operate with a corresponding COVID-19 cartridge.

“The faster they will be given the cartridge for GeneXpert machine, the faster they can set-up,” the mayor said.

Earlier, Sara announced the city government is helping with the accreditation of four laboratories to the Department of Health, which she identified as the Davao Doctors Hospital and a private company-owned laboratory that will help increase the number of tests.

Currently, the Southern Philippine Medical Center conducts a maximum of 80 tests per day for COVID-19. (

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