PH COVID-19 laboratories now at 17, after Chinese General Hospital certified

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 17 2020 10:23 PM | Updated as of Apr 17 2020 11:43 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) — The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday announced that the Chinese General Hospital has been approved as a COVID-19 testing facility.

“Ang ibig sabihin nito ay maaari na silang tumanggap at magproseso ng mga specimen mula sa ating mga pasyente,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire during a televised briefing.

(This means that the hospital can now receive and process specimen from patients.)

This brings the total number of accredited laboratories to 17.

The other laboratories are at the following locations:

  • Detoxicare Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory in Mandaluyong City
  • Lung Center of the Philippines
  • Makati Medical Center
  • The Medical City in Pasig City
  • Philippine Red Cross
  • Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
  • San Lazaro Hospital
  • St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City
  • St. Luke's Medical Center in BGC
  • University of Philippines National Institutes of Health
  • V. Luna Hospital
     
  • Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center
  • Bicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory
  • Southern Philippines Medical Center in (Davao City)
  • Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (Cebu City)
  • Western Visayas Medical Center (Iloilo)

Vergeire said there are 47 other laboratories that are undergoing the certification process.

“Kahapon ay nakapagproseso din ng halos 4,000 samples ang ating mga laboratories at ating inaasahan na sa mga susunod na mga araw ay madadagdag pa sa bilang ng mga fully operational laboratories para sa ating goal na 8,000 tests per day sa katapusan ng buwang ito,” she said.

(On Thursday, our laboratories processed almost 4,000 samples. We’re expecting that in the next days we’ll have more fully operational laboratories, so we can reach our goal of 8,000 tests per day by the end of the month.)

The goal of 8,000 tests per day is part of the government’s push for enhanced COVID-19 testing, a response to the need for mass testing.

While the DOH said it is still unable to test everyone, it will process more tests and prioritize severe cases and high-risk patients.

Meanwhile, the protocols for the use of COVID-19 rapid test kits are being finalized. This, after President Rodrigo Duterte approved last Sunday the procurement of 2 million rapid test kits.
 
“Kasalukuyan pong fina-finalize ang protocols ngayon sa technical level ng NTF COVID-19 ng tamang pag-gamit ng rapid test kits para sa mga close contacts ng mga persons under quarantine at para sa ating in-bound OFWs,” Galvez said.
 
“Isa sa mga lungsod na magsu-sumite ng proposal sa paggamit ng rapid test kits ay ang Baguio City at ang mga private sector. Ang implementasyon nito ay nararapat na sumang-ayon sa guidelines ng DOH at aprubado ng IATF na protocols,” he added.
 
On quarantine facilities, the Philippines currently has 2,780 facilities for suspected and mild COVID-19 cases, which can accommodate close to 168,000 patients.
 
“Iba pa po ito sa mga 'quarantine ships' na pinagamit sa atin ng mga pribadong kompanya, kasama na ang barkong 'Ang Pangulo,'” Galvez said.
 
He also reiterated the reminder for the public to stay at home and observe social distancing when they have to leave the house, following reports of individuals violating the enhanced community quarantine.

"Kapag tayo po ay lumabas, napakataas ng tsansa na tayo ay mahawa ng sakit at kalaunan, ay makahawa din tayo ng iba pa. Kaya kung tunay nating mahal ang ating pamilya, manatili na lamang po tayo sa ating mga tahahan," Galvez said. - With a report from Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News