Health experts around the world say that the best (and possibly only way) to stop COVID-19 from spreading is through mass testing. This, along with contact tracing and isolation, was the secret to New Zealand’s success in containing the virus. While Filipinos still wait for a mass-testing strategy from the national government, local government units are stepping up in expanding their testing capabilities. Quezon City, for example, unveiled its own mobile community-testing unit on June 29.
The unit is sponsored by the Quezon City chapter of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and will be managed by the Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit. It features a power generator, a laboratory, and a self-decontamination area. The truck, which will be manned by three to five people at a time, can facilitate both rapid antibody testing and RT-PCR testing.
“We will use this mobile testing unit to test areas with high attack rate, high active cases, and also those areas that are under special concern lockdown,” said Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit head Dr. Rolly Cruz.
Quezon City is also beefing up its strategy for contact tracing and isolation by hiring more than 300 healthcare workers and preparing additional quarantine facilities.
Marikina City launched its own testing laboratory on April 30, after a lot of back-and-forth in getting accredited by the Department of Health. Other cities, like Mandaluyong and Pasig, are doing rapid antibody testing for their own healthcare workers, jeepney and tricycle drivers, and market vendors.
NOTE: This article first appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made.