DOH says Philippines at 9,000 COVID-19 tests per day as PCR laboratories reach 29

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 14 2020 07:01 PM | Updated as of May 15 2020 12:49 AM

OFWs get swab tested at a testing center in Manila on May 13, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - Philippine laboratories successfully ran over 9,000 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests in a single day, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday, amid consistent clamor for mass testing to determine a better picture of how many people are really infected.

“Kahapon, May 13, ay nakapag-sagawa ang ating laboratoryo ng 9,465 tests,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised briefing on Thursday.

(Yesterday May 13 our laboratories were able to run 9,465 tests.)

It was only on May 10 that the country was able to reach its goal of 8,000 tests a day amid its struggle with limited test kits and only more than 20 laboratories.

Vergeire also announced that the Divine Word Hospital in Region 8 was recently licensed to run COVID-19 tests, bringing the number of RT-PCR or reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction laboratories to 29.

As of Wednesday, the country was able to run 191,963 tests from 182,412 unique individuals. Of the people who were tested since the start of the pandemic, 165,899 or 91% tested negative and 16,393 or 9% tested positive.

The number of positive tests remain higher than the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases — 11,876 as of Thursday — because of the DOH’s verification and validation process.

Below is the list of the PCR laboratories accredited by the DOH:

NCR

  • Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
  • San Lazaro Hospital
  • UP National Institutes of Health
  • Lung Center of the Philippines
  • St. Luke's Medical Center- QC
  • The Medical City - Ortigas
  • Victoriano Luna -AFRIMS
  • Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory
  • St. Luke's Medical Center - BGC
  • Makati Medical Center
  • Philippine Red Cross
  • Chinese Gen. Hospital
  • PRC-PLMC
  • Philippine Genome Center UP-Diliman
  • Marikina Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory
  • UP-PGH Molecular Laboratory
  • Singapore Diagnostic, Inc.
  • Asian Hospital & Medical Center

CAR

  • Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center

Region III

  • J.B. Lingad Memorial Hospital

Region IV-A

  • De La Salle University - Cavite

Region V

  • Bicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory

Region VI

  • Western Visayas Medical Center

Region VII

  • Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center
  • Allegiant Regional Care Hospital
  • Cebu TB Reference Laboratory

Region VIII

  • Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center
  • Divine Word Hospital

Region XI

  • Southern Visayas Regional Medical Center

In a virtual press briefing Thursday night, National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said an average of 9,200 tests are being conducted daily as DOH accredits more laboratories for coronavirus test. 

This is a 70-percent increase in daily test capacity, he said.

“Sa pagtaas ng testing capacity ay dahil sa pagdami ng ating accredited COVID-19 laboratories,” he said.

Galvez said the government also distributed rapid tests kits to Davao Region, Caraga, Zamboanga City and other areas without COVID-19 testing centers.

“Nakabili po tayo ng 200,000 test kits at nai-distribute na po natin ang 175,000 sa mga lugar na ito,” he said. – With a report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News