MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said it will ensure the certification of more laboratories for COVID-19 testing until the country is able to run 8,000 tests daily by the end of April.
"Bukod po sa 16 laboratoryong nag-ooperate ngayon, mayroon pong (Apart from the 16 laboratories operating now, there are) 47 other laboratories under certification process," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a televised briefing.
“Inaasahan po na sa mga susunod na araw ay magdadagdag tayo sa bilang ng mga fully operational laboratories para maabot ang ating goal ng 8,000 tests per day sa katapusan ng buwang ito.”
(We expect that in the coming days we’ll have more fully operational laboratories to reach our goal of 8,000 tests per day by the end of the this month.)
Of the 16 laboratories accredited for COVID-19 testing, the one most recently approved was the Philippine Red Cross lab.
This laboratory started processing samples on Wednesday.
The other laboratories are:
- Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
- San Lazaro Hospital
- University of Philippines-National Institutes of Health
- Lung Center of the Philippines
- St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City
- St. Luke's Medical Center in BGC
- Makati Medical Center
- The Medical City in Pasig City
- V. Luna Hospital
- Detoxicare Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory in Mandaluyong City
- Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center
- Bicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory
- Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City
- Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City
- Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.
The DOH has yet to release an updated breakdown of the testing capacity of the laboratories but Vergeire said they will announce on Thursday how many samples the Philippine Red Cross laboratory is able to process.
The goal of 8,000 tests daily is part of the efforts to expand COVID-19 testing in the country.
As of Tuesday, Vergeire said the laboratories were able to run 39,947 individual tests. Of this number 5,782 had positive results and 34,116 tested negative for COVID-19. These include repeat tests.
According to the DOH COVID-19 tracker, the laboratories still have more than 100,000 PCR test kits remaining.
As of Wednesday, there were 5,453 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines. Of this number, 353 have recovered and 349 died.