outbrain
Close  

UPLB to open subnational testing lab for COVID-19

/ 03:21 PM April 05, 2020

SAN PEDRO CITY — The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) has offered to convert its existing research laboratories to become a subnational testing center for the coronavirus.

Among the university’s options are laboratories housed at the Institute of Plant Breeding or the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH), with facilities both located right outside the academic campus.

ADVERTISEMENT

Once functional, UPLB’s testing hub could be the first in Southern Luzon to complement the national government’s efforts to mass test thousands of suspected virus carriers.

Retrofitting

FEATURED STORIES

“These are existing biosafety level-2 labs but used for (other) researches. We will have to retrofit them, by adding negative pressure (systems), air curtain, air conditioning, to make them perfectly (suitable) for coronavirus (testing),” said vice chancellor for research and extension Dr. Rex Demafelis, on Sunday.

Demafelis said UPLB scientists are working closely with the Philippine Red Cross in preparing the facilities.

Red Cross has donated an automatic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine, on top of UPLB’s five existing PCRs, to ramp up the current national daily testing capacity of 1,200.

Cavite testing

Demafelis said at least 12 UPLB molecular and microbiology experts have completed the training on the coronavirus, which has so far infected over 3,000 and killed more than a hundred in the Philippines.

In Cavite province, Gov. Juanito Victor “Jonvic” Remulla said they are preparing to launch the mass testing of more than 900 persons under investigation (PUI) for coronavirus after the Holy Week.

Remulla said Cavite has acquired a PCR machine, along with 20,000 testing kits, as donation from Chinese company Sansure Biotech Inc.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cavite will use De La Salle University’s laboratory as a testing center in Dasmariñas City, pending the biohazard safety certification from the Department of Health and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

Provincial health officer Nelson Soriano said Cavite, with a population of over three million, may run an average of 300 tests daily.
Remulla also directed the cities of Bacoor, Imus, and Dasmariñas to convert its hotels into a PUI “holding area,” while the small municipalities to put up tents as patients’ isolation facilities.

AU

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: coronavirus PH, COVID-19 PH, Laguna, news, Regions, Southern Luzon, test center T0406slb2, University of the Philippines-Los Baños
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.