No more backlogs at prov'l molecular lab

THE molecular laboratory at the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital has eliminated backlogs in Covid-19 testing.

Dr. Mary Ann Maestral, chief of clinics for the TLJPH, said on their 106th day of operation, the laboratory has processed 57,000 tests and that they are able to process 1,300 tests in one day.

The molecular laboratory was established in July of this year.

"It was an impossible dream for us to have a laboratory. It's good that many have helped us. We started very humble," Maestral said in an online podcast interview hosted by Negros Occidental Board Member Ryan Gamboa.

Maestral also revealed that through the help of the provincial government under Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, and Negros Occidental 3rd district Congressman Francisco Benitez, the laboratory now has three PCR machines, along with several other equipment which helped their increased processing capacity.

"For two weeks that we are operating 24 hours, our optimum capacity is 1,300 tests every day. If we cannot get the 1,300 specimens, we will process whatever arrives," Maestral added.

Meanwhile, a complete set of 18,000 PCR kits, extraction kits, reagents and viral transport media (VTMs) from the Department of Health arrived at the Silay airport yesterday.

The said supplies were turned over to the TLJPH in Silay City by Congressman Stephen Paduano and Board Member Ryan Gamboa.

The testing kits were requested by Third District Rep. Francisco Benitez and Paduano to address the increase in capacity for testing of the TLJPH molecular laboratory and the swabbing and contact tracing of the Third District LGUs which are badly hit by the Covid - 19 virus.

The Metro 3rd Emergency Operations Center based in E B Magalona will assist and augment the targeted testing of identified individuals in different parts of the Third District as a result of intensified contact tracing. TLJPH Chief of Clinics Dr. Mary Ann Maestral received the testing kits.


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