Zambo City plans free RT-PCR Covid-19 tests for essential workers

Philippine Red Cross-Zamboanga City Chapter molecular laboratory (Photo courtesy of Celso Lobregat)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Once the sixth city government-owned molecular laboratory starts operations here, there is a possibility of granting free reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests.

Free tests will be subject to the policies that will be set by concerned departments such as the City Health Office and City Budget Office,according to Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar on Saturday.

“We are thinking, subject to the policies that the City Health Office and the City Budget Office will come up with, to grant free RT-PCR tests to authorized persons outside residence and other essential workers of this city,” Salazar said in a statement.

The PHP14-million molecular testing center in Barangay San Roque is almost complete.

Dr. Dulce Amor Miravite, city health officer, earlier said it can run 300 tests per day.

Personnel who will be assigned at the molecular laboratory will undergo proficiency tests, a prerequisite for a License to Operate by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and accreditation by the Department of Health.

The other five molecular laboratories are those of the Department of Agriculture-Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC) Biosafety Level 2, ZCMC Genexpress, Philippine Red Cross-Zamboanga City, West Metro Medical Center, and Ciudad Medical Zamboanga.

The city is also mulling the lifting of Sunday lockdowns and requiring face shields only in open areas.

As of November 3, the city still has 2,103 active Covid-19 cases, with 17,960 recovered out of the 20,975 total infections.

Of the 291,269 eligible to receive Covid-19 vaccines, 175,341 have received two doses and 15,864 were administered with the single-shot Janssen jab. (PNA)

Source: Business Diary Philippines

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