MANILA - Officials opened Monday the Eastern Visayas' first novel coronavirus screening facility, which the health department said would slash waiting time for results.
The Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Tacloban City can test up to 90 specimens daily and yield results in a day, said Department of Health information officer John Paul Roca.
Swab samples from the region were previously sent to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, which took a week or 2 to send back results, he said.
A pathologist and 9 technicians who will run the Tacloban laboratory were trained in Cebu, Roca said.
In its first week of operations, the laboratory will prioritize testing suspected and probable COVID-19 patients endorsed by the regional epidemiology and surveillance unit, he said.
Eastern Visayas has confirmed 19 cases of the respiratory disease, with zero deaths.