QC puts up own molecular laboratory for COVID-19 testing
MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government has put up its own molecular laboratory that can process tests for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), aiming to open it in the last week of August once approved by the Department of Health.
In a statement on Sunday, the local government said the laboratory, which can process 500 COVID-19 tests per day with only one to two days turnaround time, has already been given a level three accreditation by the DOH.
QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said the laboratory is also an “investment” as it cannot only process COVID-19 samples but also other medical tests such as tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus, dengue, among others.
Equipment, extraction machines, and other needed facilities have also been procured by the city from donations of the private sector.
Aside from the laboratory itself, the three-floor building will have its own area for data encoding, and sleeping quarters for the workers assigned in the facility.
The laboratory will be manned by 20 members of the City Health Department to include medical technologists, pathologists, a laboratory manager, and other manpower support who will undergo training for the highly technical requirements of the laboratory at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
“There were challenges in hiring medical health workers, in getting the equipment needed especially now when there is a high demand for machines, and also in looking for a site which is most suitable to all the protocols and requirements,” QC COVID-19 task force head Joseph Juico said in a statement.
“But the city government is dedicated to make QC independent in processing its own tests,” he added.
With the new laboratory, Juico said the city government will lessen its expenses as it will no longer be paying private hospitals and laboratories for the tests.
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