COVID-19 testing lab opens in Las Piñas City
MANILA, Philippines — A laboratory that can process tests for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been opened in Las Piñas City in a bid to improve the country’s testing capacity amid the rising number of virus cases.
The laboratory was set up in the Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center (LPGH-STC).
Senator Cynthia Villar, whose family donated the equipment for the establishment of the COVID-19 laboratory, said a team of experts already visited the testing center to assess the facility and to conduct the proficiency testing of its personnel.
Both the GeneXpert and the real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines passed the assessment, she said in a statement on Wednesday.
The laboratory staff also passed the proficiency exam and were found to be competent to handle the testing using the GeneXpert technology.
Personnel will undergo a proficiency exam in using the RT-PCR COVID-19 testing machine next week, according to Villar.
The senator then expressed hope that similar facilities would be put up and accredited in other areas across the country.
This, as underscored the need for hospitals operated by the Department of Health (DOH) to have their own testing centers.
“I hope the Department of Health could fast-track their application because we really need to improve our testing and tracing capacity and the accuracy of reporting of cases in this fight against COVID-19,” Villar said.
“With this testing center, patients in Las Pinas City will no longer have to travel far and wait long for results,” she added.
A laboratory freezer, biological refrigerator, autoclave sterilizer, and pass box were also donated by the Villar family to the testing facility in Las Piñas.
The RT-PCR machine, meanwhile, was donated by the San Miguel Foundation to LPGH-STC.
As of September 8, Las Piñas City recorded a total of 2,823 COVID-19 cases.
Of this number, 2,379 have already recovered while 112 have died. There are 332 active cases in the city.
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