Bicol’s second testing center to open in Naga City
GUINOBATAN, Albay, Philippines —Naga City is eyeing to open a new testing center for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-10) to increase the testing capacity of the Bicol region.
In an announcement on social media, Naga City Mayor Nelson Legacion said the city will procure testing kits that will be used for a GeneXpert machine, which can conduct tests within 45 minutes.
Noemi Bron, Department of Health (DOH) Bicol’s health education and promotions officer, said the GeneXpert machine in Bicol Medical Center (BMC) in Naga City is the same machine being used for TB multidrug resistance (MDR) testing.
“There’s still no guidelines on GeneXpert testing but yes, BMC is one of the testing centers identified that can do that kind of testing,” Bron confirmed to Inquirer on Friday.
BMC, once accredited by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) as an independent testing center, may conduct COVID-19 tests along with the Bicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory (BRDRL), which started accepting 30 tests a day on April 6 in Albay province.
BRDRL is the lone testing center for the region’s six provinces.
Inquirer tried to reach out to authorities in Naga City for information on the number of testing kits to be purchased, but the city’s information office has yet to give further details.
As of this writing, the number of confirmed cases in Naga City is three, with one recovered and one death.
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