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The COVID-19 testing lab which is expected to serve patients in Las Pinas City is now opening its doors and starting operations to help improve the country’s testing capacity and recovery rate for the new coronavirus disease.

A team of experts went to the COVID testing facility of the Las Pinas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center (LPGH-STC) to assess the facility and to conduct a proficiency testing.

Both the GeneXpert and RT- PCR machine passed the assessment. The laboratory personnel also passed the proficiency exam and were found to be competent to handle the testing using the GeneXpert technology.

Next week, the personnel will undergo proficiency exam in using the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) COVID-19 testing machine.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, whose family donated equipment to capacitate the hospital to operate its own COVID testing center, welcomed the development and expressed hope that similar facilities would be set up and accredited in other areas in the Philippines.

DOH operated hospitals should have their own testing centers, I hope the Department of Health could fast-track their application because we really need to improve our testing and tracing capacity and the accuracy of reporting of cases in this fight against COVID-19,” Villar said.

The Las Pinas facility just like the other facilities applying for accreditation, needs to go through a multi-stage process of laboratory assessment.

“With this testing center, patients in Las Pinas City will no longer have to travel far and wait long for results,” Villar said.

The Villar family has donated a laboratory freezer, biological refrigerator, autoclave sterilizer and passbox to the facility. 

They also provided assistance in ensuring that the renovation or retrofitting of the area assigned as a Covid testing laboratory will conform to the standards approved by the DOH and World Health Organization.

The RT-PCR machine was donated by San Miguel Foundation to LPGH-STC and will start to operate next week. The foundation reached out to Public Works Sec. Mark Villar and identified the LPGH-STC as a beneficiary of its program to help the government with COVID-19 testing by donating test kits to local government units and RT-PCR machines to government hospitals.