Davao's new COVID-19 laboratory gets license from DOH

Published June 30, 2021, 12:19 PM

by Zea Capistrano

DAVAO CITY – A new COVID-19 testing laboratory was recently given license to operate by the Department of Health (DOH) and is expected to boost the turnaround time for reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing results.

The city government on Monday said the Los Amigos Davao Laboratory located at Purok 6, B5, Los Amigos, in Tugbok District received its license to operate last June 22 and is valid to operate until December 31, 2021.

Davao City COVID-19 Task Force Spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser said the new laboratory can help address the backlog as the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) Molecular Laboratory has exceeded its limit of accepting RT-PCR swab samples.

She said the Los Amigos Davao Laboratory will start operating once logistical requirements have been completed.

“The Los Amigos molecular laboratory, aside from decongesting the SPMC Molecular Laboratory, will be able to give the turnaround of results faster,” Schlosser said.

The SPMC Molecular Laboratory usually releases RT-PCR test results after two to three days. However, Schlosser said with the surge of COVID-19 cases, it now takes a maximum of five days to release the results.

“I hope we will be able to achieve two to three days,” she added.

“As much as possible, we want to give the results right away aron dili kaayo maguol while waiting tong na-test (so that those tested won’t be anxious while waiting for the result). They will also go on with their usual activities, secured that they are already negative. Para sa ilahang work requirements (It is important as a work requirement), we don’t want them to hamper their usual activities as their work is at stake,” she added.

As of 5:00 pm Tuesday, the DOH Davao Center for Health Development reported 590 new cases of COVID-19 in the region bringing the total number of active cases to 9,740.

Of the new cases, 304 cases were from Davao City. The city has a total of 4,840 active cases. Since the pandemic started, Davao City has recorded a total of 24,362 COVID-19 cases, 18,651 recoveries, and 871 deaths.