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Airport COVID-19 laboratory to start swab tests next week

THE NEWLY commissioned COVID-19 laboratory at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport will start running reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests next week.

Dr. Josephine Villafuerte, city health officer, said the RT-PCR machine, which can examine 92 specimens per run, is already complete and eight medical technologists have been deployed on Tuesday for on-site training.

The testing laboratory, donated by Unilab to the Davao City government, was inspected on Tuesday by Villafuerte, Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) officer-in-charge Dr. Ric Audan, City Tourism officer-in-charge Regina Rosa Tecson, City Engineer’s Office officer-in-charge Atty. Joseph Dominic Felizarta, and some medical technologists from SPMC.

“Gi turnover na ang equipment ug katong building gahapon, so gipa check na sa amoa, naa na man ang equipment tanan (The equipment and building were already handed over to us, so we were asked to check them. All the equipment are ready). It would examine about 92 specimens per run,” Villafuerte said.

Air travel passengers coming into the city will be prioritized for testing, which is offered free of charge for everybody.

Currently, Davao City has two testing laboratories. One is at the Southern Philippines Medical Center and the other one is the privately-owned Davao One World. Another government-owned testing center, the Los Amigos Health Center, is still under construction.

The Davao Doctor’s Hospital has already submitted the forms for its own testing centers to be accredited by the Department of Health.

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