DOH eyeing early May opening of major Central Luzon COVID-19 testing lab
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is working to have its major coronavirus disease 2019 (COID-19) testing facility in Central Luzon, which can handle 3,000 tests a day, operational by the first week of May.
The target date was set after laboratory equipment and 45,000 COVID-19 test kits from China, which will be used at the laboratory, arrived at Clark International Airport on Wednesday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Wednesday said the laboratory will be housed at the Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital (JBLMGH) in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga, making the hospital a Pandemic Sub-national Reference Laboratory.
“Ang usapan, in 10 to 14 days tapos ang pagse-set up nitong mga makina na ito, pati proseso iaayos na and hopefully, pagdating ng first week of May, maaari na nating gamitin,” she told reporters in a press conference.
(The set-up is expected t be complete in 10 to 14 days, hence, we expect it to be operational by the first week of May)
Once the laboratory, which has the capacity to conduct 3,000 to 5,000 tests per day, is set up, specimens coming from Central Luzon and neighboring areas will be sent there, thus freeing up some workload in COVID-19 testing centers in Metro Manila.
“Mas bibilis ang turnaround time at mas makakapagtanggap pa tayo ng mas maraming mga test dito sa mga laboratory natin sa Metro Manila,” Vergeire said.
(The turnaround time of results will be faster and we can accommodate more tests in the laboratories in Metro Manila.)
At present, there are 17 COVID-19 testing centers in the country, the majority of which are located in Metro Manila.
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