DOH to assist in certifying Marikina lab for COVID-19 testing

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 24 2020 07:10 PM | Updated as of Mar 24 2020 07:12 PM

LGUs planning to set up such laboratories asked to consult first

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) reminded local government units on Tuesday to consult first with the agency if they have plans to set up a laboratory to test for COVID-19.

The advisory was made as the DOH and the World Health Organization assessed Marikina City’s laboratory testing center for early detection of COVID-19.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire thanked Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro for the city government's initiative, and said that the DOH and the WHO already informed the lcoal government of what needs to be done to have the laboratory certified.

“The requirements for testing COVID-19 specimens are different. There are more requirements and the protocol is strict to ensure that the virus will not spread to the community, the health care workers or laboratory technicians,” Vergeire explained.

She said the DOH expects the laboratory to be used as soon as the requirements are met.

However, she reminded other local government units to coordinate with the department first before setting up a laboratory so they can be properly guided.

There are now 552 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, with 35 deaths and 20 recoveries. The DOH expects the number to increase as it is now able to test more people with the arrival of additional kits.

But the DOH said it is currently impossible to conduct mass testing because of the limited kits and laboratories.