BACOLOD

Negros Occidental biolab braces for new assignment

Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital Molecular Laboratory

THE molecular laboratory of the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental will comply with the latest assignment given by the Department of Health (DOH)-Western Visayas, Provincial Administrator lawyer Rayfrando Diaz said.

In an advisory, Regional Health Director Dr. Marlyn Convocar said it has adopted measures to hasten the processing of the Covid-19 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results in Western Visayas.

The Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital Molecular Laboratory will prioritize processing specimens from the province of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, Convocar said.

The Western Visayas Medical Center Sub-National Laboratory (WVMC-SNL) will focus on processing previously received specimens, she added.

All specimens received from July 14 to 17 by the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) of the DOH shall be re-routed to the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital-Molecular Laboratory in Bacolod City for RT-PCR testing, Convocar further said.

Confirmatory testing of Covid-19 RT-PCR for all returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) shall be performed at Qualimed Molecular Laboratory in Iloilo City as per a Memorandum of Agreement with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, she pointed out.

The WVMC- SNL is expecting the arrival of an automated RNA extraction machine from DOH that will considerably reduce the processing time for Covid-19 RT-PCR testing in the SNL, she said.

The DOH Western Visayas Center for Health Development will continuously coordinate with the sub-national laboratories in the region and to ensure that demand for testing is matched with the existing and upcoming capacities so that Covid-19 testing laboratories are maximized, she added.

All local government units, private health facilities and related stakeholders, are reminded to continuously adhere to the expanded risk-based testing for Covid-19 to cover all individuals who are at risk of contracting the disease, Convocar said.

For the provincial molecular laboratory, Diaz said "more supplies donated by the DOH arrived on Wednesday."

The laboratory has already addressed the backlog and released more than 1,000 negative RT- PCR test results, he said.


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