Boosting Davao's Covid-19 testing capacity

INCREASING the testing capacities of local government units plays a crucial role in the continuous combat against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-2019) in the Philippines.

In Davao City, Noel SJ Zapanta Mahogany Drug Test Center (Mahogany) has partnered with Davao One World Diagnostic Center Inc., a Department of Health-accredited Covid-19 laboratory, as an accredited specimen collection arm to help increase the city's testing capacity.

Mahogany started testing Covid-19-related specimens on June 10 and currently has 100 to 150 testing capacity.

"We can test both Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) and real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)," Johann Go, sales representative of NSZMDTC, said in a phone interview.

He added there are still more tests conducted on RDT compared to RT-PCR. But he emphasized that RT-PCR is highly recommended as it is considered as an international gold standard for detection of Covid-19.

Results for RT-PCR will take two-three days while RDT results can be secured in just 30 minutes to an hour.

How to avail

Apart from Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City and Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in Tagum City, individuals who want to take Covid-19-related tests can visit Mahogany from Mondays to Saturdays situated at Argus Building, Marang St., Bajada, Davao City.

"All they need to do is book an appointment here or they can directly visit us as we accept walk-in clients. There is no document needed, they just need to submit to our safety and health protocols then fill in a form from the center," Go said.

He added that they offer special packages for corporate clients.

He also assured the public that sanitation protocols, physical distancing, and proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be strictly observed inside the center.

"We recognize that some are wary to visit testing centers just like hospitals because they are afraid that they might get infected but know that we are very strict on health and safety protocols," he said. Disinfection of the center is also done once or twice a day.

Mahogany allows 20 to 25 persons at a time inside the center.

He also allays fears that taking the RT-PCR test can be painful. He underscored that it is not painful, only a slight discomfort.

On increasing their testing capacity, Go shared they are still hiring more health professionals.

"Getting tested gives so much relief and peace of mind especially to those individuals exposed outside. At least, if you know your health status, you can now freely go back to your homes and hug your loved ones confidently because you know you're not spreading the virus," Go said.

Noel SJ Zapanta Mahogany Drug Test Center has been operating in Davao City for 10 years. For bookings and queries, please contact 0951-657-6403.


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