CAGAYAN DE ORO

2nd Covid lab in Northern Mindanao passes proficiency test

SunStar file

ANOTHER Covid-19 testing laboratory will soon be able to process swab tests in Northern Mindanao after passing the proficiency test conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

The second Covid-19 lab is the Department of Health (DOH)-Northern Mindanao's Tuberculosis (TB) Center in Barangay Carmen.

Dr. Bernard Rocha, medical specialist of the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC), said the DOH is currently waiting for its license to operate (LTO) before it can start its operations.

"If everything goes according to plan, the LTO will be available in the next two to three days," Rocha said.

Dr. Ian Christian Gonzales, DOH-Northern Mindanao's Infectious Diseases Cluster head, said they have undergone training for nine days, working 12 to 16 hours per day to hone molecular biology skills.

"Thank you to the City Government of Cagayan de Oro and Gama Foods Corporation for the machines and kits, DOH CHD-NM (Department of Health Center for Health Development -- Northern Mindanao) management for the support, World Health Organization for the training and most of all to the hardworking NM-TBRC team," he said in a Facebook post.

The new Covid lab is using a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machine to process swabs from suspected Covid-19 individuals.

At present, the only testing center in the region is NMMC's genexpert laboratory. (PJO)


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