COVID-19 testing laboratory starts operation in Marawi City hospital

Published November 21, 2020, 1:08 PM

by Bonita Ermac

MARAWI CITY –  A biomolecular laboratory that can test for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) started to operate at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC) here on November 18.

This was confirmed by AMPC Chief Dr. Shalimar Rakiin, who said the laboratory started to process COVID-19 specimens last Wednesday after it got its license to operate from the Department of Health (DOH).

The biomolecular laboratory can process as many as 96 specimens for an hour and thirty minutes, and release the results after 24 to 48 hours.

With this, APMC will no longer need to spend specimens to as far as Cagayan de Oro, which is about 100 kilometers away.

The establishment of the P28-million testing laboratory was made possible  by the collaborative effort  of APMC, the local government units of Marawi City, and Lanao del Sur, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). 

The provincial government of Lanao del Sur, through its Governor Mamintal Adiong, allocated P10 million, Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra, P2 million; and P15 million from the BARMM. 

Gandamra said the opening of the laboratory will speed up the confirmation of COVID-19 positive cases.

He also thanked the medical frontliners, security forces and the residents of the city for the strict enforcement of minimum health protocols which has helped in decreasing the number of COVID-19 cases in the city. 

“Bumaba ang active cases sa Marawi City. From more than 100 since nag-extend ng modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until it was lifted and downgraded to general community quarantine (GCQ), that’s a good improvement in our fight against COVID-19” Gandamra said. 

However, the mayor still stressed that there was no place for complacency in Marawi because COVID-19 remains a threat.

“We should always be vigilant. We should always observe all minimum health protocols being imposed by our government,” he said. 

As of November 18, 2020 Lanao del Sur and Marawi City has 1,047 COVID-19 confirmed cases, 19 active cases, 987 recovered patients, and 41 deaths.