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EXPERT | New lab to help RT-PCR test congestion




THE operations of the Los Amigos Laboratory as a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing center will help the city government provide faster test results, a city official said Monday.

Dr. Michelle Schlosser, City COVID-19 Task Force spokesperson, said the laboratory, which got its license to operate from the Department of Health on June 22, “aside from decongesting the SPMC (Southern Philippines Medical Center) Molecular Laboratory, will be able to give the turnaround of results faster.”

Located at Purok 6, B5, Los Amigos, Tugbok District, the laboratory, under its license, is allowed to operate until the end of the year.

Schlosser said the operations of the laboratory will ease the burden of the SPMC as the government hospital has exceeded its capacity in accepting RT-PCR swab samples.

She added, “Mas mabilis ang testing with a new molecular laboratory at mas mabilis ang turnaround ng results (Testing is faster with a new molecular laboratory and turnaround of results is also faster).”

The  SPMC Molecular Laboratory usually releases RT-PCR test results in two days, but because of the sheer number of people getting tested, releasing of results could get delayed even by five days.

But with the operations of the Los Amigos Laboratory, Schossler is confident the turnaround time will be drastically reduced. 

“I hope we will be able to achieve two to three days.  As much as possible, we want to give the results right away aron dili kaayo maguol while waiting tong natest.  They will also go on with their usual activities, secured that they are already negative. Para sa ilahang work requirements,” she said, adding that the new laboratory will operate as soon as logistical requirements are completed.

“As soon as we have addressed the backlog or as soon as we decongest the SPMC at hindi na ma maximum or exceeded limit ang molecular laboratory, pretty sure Saturday and Sunday swabbings will resume,” she said based on the report of the City Information Office.

As proof that the burden of SPMC has become huge, Schlosser said that weekend swabbing has been suspended because its laboratory has been overwhelmed by the samples taken from those who underwent testing.

Swab testing has been done the entire week at the Sta. Ana Health Center, Crocodile Park, and Magsaysay Park, but Sta. Ana Health Center has been placed on quarantine following reports that some of its employees contracted the COVID-19 virus. Schossler said the facility is expected to resume this week.


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