PCR machines now in use at BGHMC

FIVE reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) test machines are now being used at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC).

Doctor Leahmore Fangonilo, BGHMC head of Public Health Unit, explained with the test machines, BGHMC’s Covid–19 testing capacity remains at 300 to 500 tests a day.

“Yesterday (May 25), we had 257 tests done with no backlogs as of the moment. All specimens received yesterday were processed. The number of tests available as of yesterday is at 16,454 test kits,” Fangonilo said.

BGHMC is a sub-national hospital for coronavirus testing for regions 1,2 and the Cordillera.

Fangonilo added BGHMC has five PCR machines with two machines initially used for running while the two other machines used by medical technologists for testing operation and the remaining machine is on standby.

The RT-PCR has a 98% accuracy in coronavirus cases which health authorities considers as the gold standard of Covid-19 testing.

These kits include reagents and other chemicals used to check whether a patient’s sample has the Sars-CoV-2, the pathogen which causes Covid-19, that can only be used in laboratories with PCR machines. The PCR lab technique allows the detection and amplification of genetic material in body fluids or samples.

“We also have one automated RNA extractor being used at present which was received last week and was used last Friday. Our turn around testing now is 24 hours to a maximum of 48 hours. For our trained medical technologists, from the initial three trained med-techs, we now have five trained med-techs with two undergoing supervision to which we are now increasing our capacity and capability of our med-techs. We have also invited outside hospital med-techs to join us in our laboratory, all in all we now have nine med-techs plus four that we hired outside the hospital while awaiting another one,” Fangonilo said.


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