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In Region XI: Testing kits may be enough but mass testing impossible

Davao City has acquired a total of 1,900 collection kits for testing.

Dr. Lenny Joy Rivera, Department of Health XI assistant regional director, said in a virtual press conference on Tuesday that the city is still waiting for some test kits being developed by the University of the Philippines (UP).

Of these collection kits, 209 already have 100 reactions and the control. She also said this may enable more testing since the city has enough kits.

“So, in the 100 reactions, there are 60 tests available. So if 60 times 209, then we can test up to 12,540. As of the moment, the remaining number of those that can be tested is around 11,525,” she explained.

However, even with the availability of the many testing kits, they still cannot conduct mass testing due to the capacity limitation of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC). She said that SPMC can only do around 100 to 120 tests per day.

“Even if we say we have many available testing kits, SPMC can only test about 100 to 120 per day. We should also note that some specimens tested in SPMC are from other regions, and we also have to do repeat testing especially to those results released are doubtful,” she said.

Rivera also said that some hospitals are now in the process of being validated to increase the number of testing facilities in the region. For example. the UP Mindanao Genome Laboratory is now undergoing certification for it to be functional.

Maria Elinore Concha, SPMC chief training officer, said that establishing more testing facilities would also help in lifting the quarantine measures in the region.

“One of the parameters set by the World Health Organization in order to lift quarantine measures in the area where it is implemented is the availability of more testing laboratories,” Concha said.

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