30 more laboratories want to give COVID-19 tests, DOH says

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There are 30 public and private laboratories that have signified interest to conduct COVID-19 tests, the Department of Health said Friday. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 27) — There are 30 public and private laboratories that have signified interest to conduct COVID-19 tests, the Department of Health said Friday.

Health Spokesperson Maria Vergeire said the DOH has distributed its “self-assessment tool” to these institutions, so they can check if they are qualified to run the tests that would confirm if a patient has the coronavirus disease.

The DOH has visited some of these laboratories to validate their self-assessment, Vergeire said. These are St. Luke’s Medical Center Quezon City and Taguig City branches, Makati Medical Center, The Medical City in Pasig, the Armed Forces Research Institute for Medical Sciences, Western Visayas Medical Center and the Bicol Public Health Laboratory.

Vergeire said the department also hopes to have its subnational laboratories for COVID-19 testing certified today. The Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, Baguio General Hospital in Baguio City and the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City are also up for accreditation for COVID-19 testing.

Vergeire said these laboratories are capable of giving 80 to 160 tests per day and an initial 5,000 test kits have been dispensed to them. 

Currently, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City is the only facility that can conduct COVID-19 tests, which has resulted in a backlog and delay in releasing results.

Over 2,100 people in the country have been tested for COVID-19, Vergeire said. Of this number, 803 have been found positive while 54 have already died. A total of 31 people recovered from the disease.