COVID-19 testing lab in Marawi starts operation

Published July 3, 2020, 9:49 AM

by Bonita Ermac

MARAWI CITY – The Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC) has started processing swab specimens for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after this was approved by the Department of Health (DOH) last June 29.

The COVID-19 laboratory facility using  Gen-expert machine provided by the DOH has been given the license to operate for a period three months until September 29, which would be enough time for the completion of the biomolecular testing laboratory, also inside APMC.

According to Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) Chief Dr. Alinader Minalang, the laboratory will help hasten the release results of swab samples within 45 minutes to one hour.

With the new laboratory, swab specimen will no longer be sent to Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) in Cagayan de Oro City, the results from which normally come out after three days.

“Just today, iyong ating express laboratory using Gen-expert ay nag-open na kanina (July 1) sa APMC. Lahat ng ating specimens na kailangan e-PCR ay mabilis na lang dito na gagawin sa atin, di na kailangan dalhin sa Cagayan de Oro or Cotabato”, said Minalang.

Meanwhile, the local government unit of Marawi, through its mayor Majul Usman Gandamra, has established an extension facility, the Marawi City Community Quarantine and Treatment  Facility (MCCQTF), at the Siyapen building, Poblacion in preparation for more locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have steadily been returning to the city and Lanao del Sur.

The building used to be a community drug center, which was a joint project of Marawi city and Ayala Foundation in 2018.

Gandamra said the facility will cater to at least 60 persons, with a television in each room room, that would make a mandatory 14-day quarantine more comfortable.

“Yong bago nating Marawi City Quarantine facility is an extension of the Sagonsongan quarantine facility dahil sa medyo nag overwhelm na yong  local stranded individuals na umuwi dito sa Marawi City at Lanao del sur, ay minarapat natin na magkaroon ng expansion,” Gandamra said.

At the moment, there are five COVID-19 patietns who were transferred to MCCQTF from the Sagonsongan facility.

The mayor reiterated his appeal to the national government to properly screened those LSIs and ROFs, strict health protocols be implemented before allowing them to go home.

“Pero kung ating susuriin, Marawi City and Lanao del Sur were able to contain this pandemic for 46 days na walang contamination, no transmission, no positive, only with the ‘Hatid Probinsya’ with LSIs na nagkaroon ng positive, coming from different places-Metro Manila,” Gandamra added.