Waiting time for COVID-19 test results now down to 1.5 days, says official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 19 2022 03:17 PM

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Video courtesy of PTV

The waiting time for COVID-19 tests has gone down to about 1.5 days, an official said on Wednesday, as the country faces a surge driven by the omicron variant. 

Presidential Adviser for COVID-19 Response Vince Dizon said compared to previous weeks when the release of RT-PCR results took 3 to 4 days, turnaround time is now down to "1.5 days on average and sometimes results are released in 24 hours."

He noted that RT-PCR screening is not automated and needs to be facilitated by technicians, many of whom needed to go on quarantine due to the novel coronavirus. 

“Bumibilis na ang ating turnaround time. Noong mga nakaraang linggo ay umaabot ng 3, 4 na araw ang paglabas ng resulta. Ngayon, isa’t kalahating araw lumalabas na on average at minsan sa loob ng 24 hours ay lumalabas na ang resulta,” he said in a televised public briefing. 

(Our turnaround time is getting faster. In the past weeks, the release of results takes 3, 4 days. We're now down to 1.5 days on average and sometimes results are released in 24 hours.)

Government recently allowed shorter quarantine isolation periods for health workers, Dizon noted. 

Dizon said he however had no exact figure on testing backlogs, as of this posting. 

“Aalamin ko po. Alam ko po lumiit na nang lumiit ‘yan. Tingin ko po mauubos na iyong backlog ngayong linggong ito,” he said. 

(I will find that out. From what I know, it’s getting smaller. I think the backlog will be gone this week.)

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles meanwhile said Malacañang is urging authorities to accredit more testing labs. 

“Mas marami iyong RT-PCR labs…then mas maraming options at mas mabilis iyong pag-release ng results,” he said in a media interview. 

(With more RT-PCR labs, options will increase and the release of results will faster.)