MANY local chief executives must have felt the constraints in government while they exert their best efforts to come up with measures and programs aimed at winning the war against COVID-19.
But in the country’s premier city of Manila, with a former scavenger and entertainer at the helm of the local government, there are enough reasons to expect the best in the days ahead.
In the view of many quarters, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna are in a position to spearhead the city’s campaign to halt the further spread of the virus.
Last Wednesday, Mayor Moreno and Vice Mayor Lacuna inaugurated the city’s third walk-in center, which is capable of testing for free some 300 people a day for the dreaded coronavirus disease.
Set up at the Justice Abad Santos General Hospital (JASGH) in Binondo (3rd District) under Dr. Merle Sacdalan, it offers free anti-body testing for the coronavirus to Manilans and non-residents.
The city government of Manila now has five COVID testing centers – two drive-thrus and three walk-ins. It has also a mobile serology testing site that is deployed to areas with high number of COVID cases.
Earlier, Moreno and Lacuna opened the walk-in centers at the Ospital ng Sampaloc (4th District) and the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center in Tondo (1st District) under Dr. Ted Martin.
The drive-thru centers are at Plaza Lawton and Quirino Grandstand (Rizal Park). Manila’s five testing centers are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., from Monday to Friday, on a first come, first served basis.
Moreno said the city is buying another serology testing machine, which will be installed at the Ospital ng Tondo.
By setting up more COVID testing centers, Moreno and Lacuna are on track identifying virus carriers so that they will be isolated, taken care of and, ultimately, avoid the spread of the virus.