MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) has certified the De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute (DLSMHSI) in Dasmariñas, Cavite as a COVID-19 testing laboratory, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla said Saturday, raising the country's overall coronavirus testing capacity.
According to a certification from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), the medical school and health institution can now perform independent tests for COVID-19 through reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), considered by experts as the gold standard in coronavirus testing.
The DLSMHSI will start testing COVID-19 frontline workers next week, Remulla said.
“Time to work. Time to implement our healing strategy. Next week, we will start testing the frontliners for free,” he wrote on Facebook.
The province is about to receive some 300,000 test kits to start its “mass-targeted testing,” Remulla earlier said.
To date, Cavite has recorded 205 COVID-19 cases, with Bacoor having the most number of infections at 63.
The Philippines has so far 24 COVID-19 laboratories, records from DOH showed.
The other licensed laboratories are:
* Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center
* Bicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory
* Chinese General Hospital
* Detoxicare Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory
* Lung Center of the Philippines
* Makati Medical Center
* Marikina Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory
* Philippine Red Cross
* Philippine Genome Center - UP Diliman
* Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
* San Lazaro Hospital
* Southern Philippines Medical Center
* St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City
* St. Luke's Medical Center in BGC
* The Medical City
* University of Philippines National Institutes of Health
* V. Luna Hospital
* Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center
* Western Visayas Medical Center
To become a licensed COVID-19 testing center, a laboratory must pass the 5-stage process, which includes assessment, validation or on-site assessment by experts, personnel training, proficiency testing or validation by RITM, and full-scale implementation.