CSF opens COVID-19 testing facility

City of San Fernando Mayor Edwin “EdSa” Santiago and GreenCity Medical Center have opened the city’s first coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) testing center on Thursday.

Santiago was accompanied by GreenCity Chief Executive Officer and President Dr. Hazel Peñafiel in the inauguration of the Molecular and Diagnostic Pathology Laboratory which was granted license by the Department of Health (DOH) to conduct COVID-19 testing.

Santiago said the public-private collaboration is pursued for the timely diagnosis of COVID-19 by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

“Thru testing, binibigyan natin ng itsura ang kalaban. Once we have identified those individuals, we can now isolate them, find their contacts and treat them. That‘s how we ‘box in’ the virus here in the city thru ‘Test. Isolate. Find. Treat’,” Santiago said.

The mayor also underscored the importance of testing in the city’s transition to the new normal. “We all want to go back to business, back to classes, and to our normal lives. But, we cannot really safely go to the new normal unless we first facilitate testing,” he added.

This was affirmed by Dr. Renely P. Tungol, officer-in-charge of the City Health Office and Incident Commander of the Incident Management, stressing that the city will not be doing mass testing but will be following the guidelines of DOH for expanded targeted testing.

As per DOH guidelines, priority testing is being done for critical or severe cases, mild cases but vulnerable, mild cases but not vulnerable, and for asymptomatics but with close contact or with history of travel.

On June 15, San Fernando had already started testing the first priority group wherein a total of 158 frontliners underwent nasal swab testing.

The specimens were delivered to the pathology laboratory of GMC which released the results after two days. All 158 specimens tested negative.

For two weeks now, San Fernando has not recorded new cases of COVID-19 infections but the city is expecting the number to spike up especially with the availability of the testing kits and facility.

Meanwhile, Peñafiel expressed her gratitude to the local government unit and committed to embrace the challenges as ancillary of San Fernando in winning the battle against COVID-19.

“At the time of pandemic, when some hospitals close their doors and some doctors and frontliners won’t receive patients, GreenCity is resolute to its stand–to make our medical services available for the public, even to the most severe cases of COVID-19 infection,” the president remarked.

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