SPMC expects a surge of clients

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SOUTHERN Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) is expecting a surge of clients who would want to get tested for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) now that business operations have resumed, assuring that they are now capable of processing more swab samples.

SPMC medical chief Dr. Leopoldo Vega said on Thursday, June 4, that although there are now more accredited hospitals and laboratories licensed to conduct Covid-19 testing in Mindanao, he said that more samples are still expected to come.

“We are preparing for the new normal meaning that the back to work program demands more tests for employees aside from the aggressive contract tracing. It's our preparedness for scaling more tests,” Vega said.

Since Davao City relaxed its quarantine protocols following its transition to general community quarantine (GCQ) after weeks of lockdown, health authorities are anticipating the rise of Covid-19 cases in the city now that more individuals are allowed to go outside their residences.

Vega said their laboratory is processing close to 150 to 200 samples per day.

But now that more business establishments have resumed operations, they are also upgrading their testing capacity.

SPMC recently acquired four new real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines and automated RNA extraction systems donated by the Ayala Group and San Miguel Corporation which further boosted their testing capacity.

“[This will] increase our test capacity from an average of 200 tests to almost 800-1000/ day,” Vega said.

To date, SPMC has no backlog in terms of their tests.

Vega said they are currently working on the cost of each Covid-19 test they will conduct.

He said there will soon be payment when for instance an employer would want his or her employees to get tested similar to the private hospitals.

“Yes [there will be payment] since we are purchasing the consumables for the tests,” he said.

As of 5 p.m. Friday, June 5, the Department of Health Davao Center for Health Development reported only one new case of Covid-19 in Davao City, which brings the total number of cases in the region to 360.


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