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.
“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.