The Manila City government has started building its own COVID-19 testing laboratory at the Sta. Ana Hospital in a bid to strengthen its mass testing operations as a response against the pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso announced on Saturday, May 16, the construction of the testing laboratory which will provide citizens a “gold standard” testing capability against COVID-19.

“Magpapatayo po tayo ng sarili nating testing laboratory. This is our long term plan for you, for the city,” Domagoso said via Facebook Live.

“As we speak today, the room and the laboratory area is now being built bilang paghahanda ng inyong pamahalaang lungsod sa mga darating na buwan ng buhay natin na kabahagi natin si COVID-19,” he added.

Domagoso said the testing laboratory would help in increasing the number of confirmatory tests being conducted in the nation’s capital.

According to the Manila Health Department, about 1,533 confirmatory tests have already been conducted in the city.

Likewise, the Mayor announced that the city government has acquired eight mobile digital x-ray machines for its district hospitals.

This means patients no longer have to physically move to the hospital’s X-Ray room to avoid exposure from COVID-19.

“Ayokong in the middle of everything, nasira yung machine, wala tayong extra. I really wanted to prepare our city with this kind of equipment, facilities, to empower our medical institution and our frontliners in the health sectors,” Domagoso said.