THE Department of Health (DOH) on Friday, May 8, approved the first molecular laboratory for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Eastern Visayas.
In a certification signed by DOH Assistant Secretary Nestor Santiago. Jr, it said the test center at the old Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City can now perform independent testing for SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19 by real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
“The molecular laboratory shall continue to participate in the proficiency testing program of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), follow the operational guidelines for Covid-19 laboratories, and abide by the highest laboratory quality standard,” the health official said.
A team of nine medical technologists and one pathologist from the region’s test center also finished a three-day proficiency training at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) and Department of Health (DOH)-Central Visayas Covid Testing Center in Cebu City.
Previously, the DOH in the region has to send specimens for Covid-19 testing to VSMMC in Cebu through the help of the Philippine Coast Guard (PSG).
It was learned that Leyte First District Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez purchased the P2.7 million worth of reverse transcription (RT)-PCR machine for the region’s first Covid-19 test center.
Tingog Party-list Representative Yedda Marie Romualdez personally paid for almost a million in renovation and retrofitting of the said test center.
As of Friday, the region has recorded 19 cases of Covid-19 after five more patients from Tarangnan, Samar were tested positive for the virus.