Iloilo donates COVID-19 testing machine to DOH-run laboratory

Published July 31, 2020, 10:01 AM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY—From initially lending its reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machine, the Iloilo provincial government decided to donate it to the laboratory being operated by the Department of Health (DOH) that conducts coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing for Panay Island.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. turns over COVID-19 diagnostic machine and kits to Dr. Stephanie Abello of Western Visayas Medical Center-Sub-National Laboratory (WVMC-SNL) in Iloilo City.  (Balita Halin Sa Kapitolyo / MANILA BULLETIN)
Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. turns over COVID-19 diagnostic machine and kits to Dr. Stephanie Abello of Western Visayas Medical Center-Sub-National Laboratory (WVMC-SNL) in Iloilo City. (Balita Halin Sa Kapitolyo / MANILA BULLETIN)

“We are donating it.  We have to help enhance testing capacity,” said Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr.

This came after a Wednesday meeting with regional officials that the Western Visayas Medical Center-Sub-National Laboratory (WVMC-SNL) of DOH-6 in Iloilo City was having a hard time coping with the big volume of swab specimens.

“Time is of the essence. Another machine is needed,” Defensor pointed out.

The WVMC-SNL is one of the two facilities that tests COVID-19 specimens for Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, and Iloilo provinces as well as Iloilo City, the regional capital.

With the rising number of community transmission of COVID-19, it means that there will be more specimens that have to be tested.

Initially, the RT-PCR machine would be temporarily used by WVMC-SNL as the COVID-19 laboratory at Iloilo Provincial Hospital in Pototan town is still under construction. It also donated its RNA extraction machine and kits to WVMC-SNL.  

Defensor said the provincial government will purchase new RT-PCR and RNA extraction machines once the COVID-19 laboratory is almost complete.

 
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