Ayala group to build 4 new COVID-19 testing labs
MANILA, Philippines — The Ayala group is set to build four new biosafety level 2 laboratories, apart from upgrading three other existing labs, to help scale up the county’s capacity to conduct much-needed coronavirus tests using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) kits.
These labs will allow the Ayala group, through AC Health, to contribute 5,500 in additional RT-PCR testing capacity per day for the Philippines.
“By constructing new laboratories and expanding capacity for existing ones, we will increase access to confirmatory RT-PCR testing for COVID-19 in many critical areas,” Ayala president and chief operating officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala said in a press statement on Monday.
Last week, the AC Health group, led by Fernando and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, welcomed Task Force COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. and deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon to the labs at the Tropical Disease Foundation and Qualimed Santa Rosa for a tour of the facilities built and upgraded by the Ayala group.
AC Health teamed up with the Qualimed Health Network to build the four modular-type biosafety level 2 labs that will be located in their hospitals in Santa Rosa, Laguna; Tanauan, Batangas; San Jose del Monte, Bulacan; and Iloilo City.
This modular setup, designed and built by Makati Development Corp., is seen to accelerate construction timelines for other laboratories.
The modular labs, which follow the recommended design by the Department of Health (DOH), Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, and World Health Organization, are equipped with fully automated RNA (ribonucleic acid) extraction and RT-PCR systems and can process about 1,000 confirmatory RT-PCR tests per day. They will be supervised by board-certified pathologists with training in molecular diagnostics.
AC Health and the Bloomberry Cultural Foundation Inc. have also partnered with the Tropical Disease Foundation (TDF) to establish TDF’s capability as a biosafety level 2 lab to conduct confirmatory RT-PCR tests.
TDF was officially accredited by the DOH on May 28 and can now process about 200 confirmatory RT-PCR tests per day.
In the Visayas, AC Health is teaming up with the University of Cebu Medical Center in Mandaue City to expand capacity by 250 tests per day.
In Mindanao, AC Health and Ayala Foundation will donate RT-PCR machines to the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City to increase its capacity by 1,000 tests daily.
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