The provincial government of Lanao del Norte has opened its own molecular laboratory to detect coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The Lanao del Norte Molecular Laboratory is the only funded COVID-19 testing facility by a local government in Northern Mindanao, and one of only 21 of its kind across the Philippines, the provincial government said.
The laboratory, which could process at least 90 tests per day, is expected to boost the testing capacity in the region.
Dr. Adriano P. Suba-an, DOH's Regional Director for Northern Mindanao, said the molecular laboratory in the province will also benefit its neighboring cities and provinces.
“By putting up this laboratory, you have actually strengthened the Lanao del Norte, Iligan, and Lanao del Sur health triangle,” Suba-an said.
He also recognized the province’s efforts in scaling up its treatment and isolation capacity despite the low utilization rate of its intensive care unit hospital beds.
Lanao del Norte is low risk when it comes to the critical care utilization rate, he said. It stands at less than 30%, with the utilization of ICU beds and mechanical ventilators at zero, he added.
National Action Plan against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr. urged other local government units to learn from the province's best practices.
As of September 28, Lanao del Norte has 136 active COVID-19 cases, 366 recoveries, and 4 deaths.