The dream of having a COVID-19 mass testing for Valenzuelanos finally pushes to become a reality, with more hopeful days to come as an intensified COVID-19 response is now in the works.
Considered as one of the happiest days since the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was implemented in the City, Valenzuela City yet again ventured into a public-private partnership (PPP) with one of the most respected tertiary care hospitals in the country, The Medical City.
Mayor REX Gatchalian considers this, being the first public-private collaboration to conduct a COVID-19 mass testing, as one of the breakthroughs of the fight against the pandemic.
Signing the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with The Medical City executives in Pasig City this April 3, 2020, Mayor REX expressed his excitement and can only hope for the best for Valenzuelanos.
“[Valenzuela residents] may not be able to come to The Medical City but through this Annex or MOA...they will be able to experience the services of The Medical City. Hopefully, when we get this running with the public and private collaboration, I think the other LGUs in Metro Manila can also start copying the template,” he said.
As soon as The Medical City finishes its Stage 5 laboratory accreditation, the hospital may start conducting confirmatory testing on possible COVID-19 patients and provide Valenzuela City the service of processing test kits using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine.
The Medical City is currently under Stage 4 of the Department of Health (DOH) accreditation.
“We know that government hospitals are in its full capacity so Valenzuela sought for a private hospital partner who can process our test kits. As soon as The Medical City gets their Stage 5 accreditation from the DOH, we can now start the mass testing in Valenzuela City... We will pray that we can have the accreditation the soonest so we can now start the mass testing,” Mayor REX stated.
Instead of longer days of waiting for tests results from limited accredited hospitals, Valenzuela makes its way to have a partner healthcare facility that will produce test results in just two (2) working days – a process that will massively help the monitoring of PUIs and PUMs and mitigate exposure of a possible COVID-19 patient.
The City Government of Valenzuela will procure and provide the test kits, extraction kits, swab kits while the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) will administer the nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab test samples from the patients. CESU will then transport the samples (following strict handling and storage protocols) to The Medical City laboratory for the processing of test kits and will release the results to the City Government of Valenzuela. As to the fees for the testing, Mayor REX said in his Facebook post that this is “free-of-charge for the community.”
The Medical City is among the big hospitals in the Philippines with the most professional healthcare facilities.
Once accredited, The Medical City will join the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP), Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), San Lazaro Hospital (SLH) and UP National Institutes of Health (UP NIH) as a Stage 5 accredited facility for COVID-19 testing in Metro Manila.