Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso on Saturday, July 11, announced that the local government has purchased three COVID-19 testing machines capable of testing 16,800 residents a week.

Domagoso said doctors, nurses and all other healthcare workers will be the first ones to be tested by the serology testing machines from Abbott.

According to Abbott, the testing machines have an accuracy rate of 99.6-percent specificity and 100-percent sensitivity. However, confirmatory swab tests are still required under public health protocols.

Similar to rapid test kits, the Abbott serology testing machines uses blood as samples to test residents for COVID-19.

The Manila City government is the first local government unit to procure these serology testing machines, Domagoso said.

“Makakapag-test ang mga ito ng 50 samples per hour. Uunahin natin ang lahat ng doctor, nurse, mga healthcare workers, starting with Ospital ng Maynila, para mapanatag sila,” the Mayor said.

“Kung kaya nito mag-50 per hour sa 16-hour shift ng ating mga medtech, makakagawa na ng 16,800 per week ang tatlo nating machines,” he said.

The testing machines will be deployed at the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, Ospital ng Sampaloc and Ospital ng Maynila.

The Mayor said the city government was able to purchase the machines worth P6 million each. He said the procurement will be a long-term investment for the city government.

Aside from COVID-19, the machines can also help the city government’s public healthcare facilities in detecting cancer, hepatitis, thyroid diseases as well as other infectious diseases.

“Even after the COVID-19 crisis, we can still use these machines for the benefit of our fellow Manileños. I think this is a good long term investment for us,” Domagoso said.

The procurement is in line with Domagoso’s action plan to combat the COVID-19 pandemic through mass testing and early detection.

To recall, the Manila City government recently launched its own COVID-19 testing laboratory at the Sta. Ana Hospital, where the Manila Infectious Disease Control Center is located.

According to Manila City Health Officer Dr. Arnold Pangan, the Manila City government is capable of conducting 350 swab tests per day or 2,450 a week. All swab tests conducted by the city government are provided for free.

Likewise, all rapid test kits used by the Manila City government are all donated and considered free, which means no taxpayer’s money was spent on rapid tests.

As of Friday, July 10, about 158,520 rapid tests and 16,137 swab tests have been conducted by the Manila City government.