DOH announces 5 labs to speed up COVID-19 testing, says 100,000 test kits donated

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 20 2020 05:11 PM

MANILA — The Department of Health on Friday said that COVID-19 tests can now be done in 5 laboratories across the Philippines.

“Tayo ngayon ay may 5 nang subnational laboratories na magpoproseso ng test results,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire during a televised conference.

(We now have 5 subnational laboratories that will process test results.

These are San Lazaro Hospital, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu and Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.

“Besides the 5, we are setting up 2 more — Western Visayas Medical Center and Bicol Public Health Laboratory,” Vergeire said in Filipino. “The UP National Institutes for Health are also being mobilized so they can help in our laboratory capacity.”

Vergeire said the increased number of laboratories processing COVID-19 tests would allow them to get results for 50 to 300 tests per day.

“Dahil dito mas mapapabilis na ang paglabas ng resulta ng tests,” she said.

She also added that the Philippines has received around 100,000 test kits from different donors.

However, she said they are not planning to do massive testing because its effectivity is not yet proven. She said the DOH will continue prioritizing severe cases and those who are most at risk for the disease.