MCIA to have own COVID-19 testing facility
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Another coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing laboratory is being built in Cebu and this time it will be located within the airport compound in Mactan Island.
Andrew Harrison, GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) chief executive adviser, made the announcement during a meeting with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia earlier this week.
Harrison said airport authorities decided to put up a COVID-19 testing facility within the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) primarily to expedite the return of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and to help decongest the traffic of returning OFWs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
“We need to create a safe system where OFWs can arrive efficiently. And what we believe is to provide additional capacity for DOH (Department of Health) to test OFWs upon arrival in Cebu,” said Harrison.
GMCAC’s top official told Garcia during their meeting at the Capitol that they are aiming to have the facility finished within 15 days. It is also designed with the capacity to do around 900 tests per day.
Harrison said that once the laboratory’s construction is completed, they will be requesting approval and certification from the Department of Health (DOH) and Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) before they will officially start with its operations.
Once the laboratory is activated, arriving OFWs in Cebu will be directed there to undergo COVID-19 tests. Healthcare workers will be collecting swab samples from the passengers’ throat and nasal.
Harrison said the OFWs will then be billeted to a nearby hotel where they will stay for at least one day or until the results of their swab tests are produced.
Expenses for the swab tests and hotel accommodation will be shouldered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). / dcb
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