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DOH-6 implements measures to fast-track COVID-19 testing

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DOH-6 implements measures to fast-track COVID-19 testing

ILOILO CITY, July 16 (PIA)— The Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH WV CHD) shall implement measures to fast-track the processing of the Reverse Rranscription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests in the region.

The RT-PCR testing is considered the gold standard in detecting SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In an advisory, Dr. Marlyn Convocar, DOH WV CHD Regional Director, said that these measures shall be implemented as per agreement among the representatives from the four COVID-19 sub-national laboratories in Region 6.

“Western Visayas Medical Center Sub-National Laboratory (WVMC-SNL) shall focus on processing previously received specimen,” she said.

She said all specimens received from July 14 to July 17, 2020 by the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) of the DOH shall be re-routed to Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital-Molecular Laboratory (CLMMRH-ML) for RT-PCR testing based on Department Memorandum No. 2020-0294 (Revised Interim Guidelines on the Zoning of COVID-19 Testing Laboratories).

“Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital-Molecular Laboratory (TLJP-ML) shall prioritize processing specimens from the province of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City,” she said.

Meanwhile, Convocar said COVID-19 RT-PCR confirmatory testing for all returning Overseas Filipino Workers (ROFs) shall be performed at Qualimed Molecular Laboratory, as per memorandum of agreement with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

She said that WVMC-SNL is expecting the arrival of an automated RNA extraction machine from DOH that will considerably reduce the processing time of COVID-19 RT-PCR testing in the said sub-national laboratory.

She added that DOH WV CHD shall continuously coordinate with the sub-national laboratories in Region 6 and to ensure that demand for testing is matched with the existing and upcoming capacities so that COVID-19 testing laboratories are maximized. (JSC/LTP/PIA6 Iloilo)