DOH approves COVID-19 testing laboratory in Region 1

Michelle Soriano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 25 2020 07:08 PM | Updated as of May 26 2020 11:44 AM

The Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center (ITRMC) in San Fernando City, La Union got the green light from the health department to conduct coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing.

According to the Department of Health Region 1, ITRMC received its accreditation as a COVID-19 testing facility on May 20.

The hospital has two Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machines and 12 medical technologist working in shifts.

As of now, it can process 50 swab samples in a day. Results of which need not be confirmed by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City.

“Ang nabigay pong accreditation sa ITRMC ay yung independent testing facility. So, ibig sabihin, pwede po silang maglabas ng sarili nilang resulta at hindi na po kailangang i-submit sa RITM for confirmation,” said Dr. Rheuel Bobis from DOH Region 1 Center for Health Development.

The said laboratory is now accepting swab samples from La Union. Most specimen from three other provinces in the region are still being sent to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC).

BGHMC is also receiving swab samples from Region 2 and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

“Once na nagkaroon na po sila ng maximum capacity, at kaya na po talagang i-cater ang lahat po ng test na nagagawa sa Region 1, doon (ITRMC) na po talaga natin siya ipapadala,” Bobis said.

As of writing, La Union has recorded 21 COVID-19 cases, of which, 15 patients have already recovered. Two are still admitted in hospitals, while four others died.

The Philippines, so far, has recorded 14,319 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of this number, 3,323 have recovered, while 873 have died.