Bicol lab used for dengue cases to be used for COVID-19 tests | Inquirer News
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Bicol lab used for dengue cases to be used for COVID-19 tests

By: - Correspondent / @RAOstriaINQ
/ 08:46 PM March 23, 2020

GUINOBATAN, Albay—A lab in one of Bicol’s biggest hospitals which was being used to test for dengue cases could be converted into a testing facility for COVID-19, according to the regional office of the Department of Health (DOH) on Monday (March 23).

Noemi Bron, health education and promotion officer of the DOH in Bicol, said the Bicol Regional Diagnostic Reference Lab in the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital could serve the region’s six provinces if converted into a testing facility for COVID-19.

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Bron told reporters that two staff members of the facility are in Manila to train on administering the virus tests.

Bron said lab equipment must match the testing kits that would be used to determine COVID-19 infections.

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COVID-19 tests are best handled by laboratories, according to Bron.

“Test kits are not self-administered like pregnancy tests that can be bought from the pharmacy,” Bron said.

“We don’t have that yet,” she added.

She said because test kits should pass lab standards, having a regional testing center would expedite confirmation of COVID-19 cases.

The regional DOH is awaiting results of 28 tests on suspected COVID-19 patients. At least 13 of the patients are in hospitals while 15 are on home quarantine.

Edited by TSB

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