DOH: COVID-19 labs undergo ‘regular quality assurance’ check

Published September 24, 2021, 4:21 PM

by Analou de Vera

(Jansen Romero / File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

The Department of Health (DOH) said that all laboratories in the country that perform coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing undergo ‘regular quality assurance’ checks to ensure the accuracy of the test results.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) is conducting the quality check on all COVID-19 laboratories nationwide.

“Ito ay regular na ginagawa (This is being done) and we have not been amiss on this part of the process for quality assurance in our laboratories,” said Vergeire in a press briefing on Friday, Sept. 24.

“We do that and this is being done regularly in all of the laboratories in the country that are licensed and accredited by DOH and RITM,” she added.

Vergeire said that this is to ensure the quality of the results produced by the laboratories.

“Para makita natin if there would be inaccuracies and that we can ensure na yung mga nilalabas nating resulta sa lahat ng laboratoryo (So that we can see if there would be inaccuracies and that we can ensure the results we release in all laboratories),” she said.

“Hindi lang isang laboratoryo but all the laboratories are subjected dito sa quality assurance na ito (Not just one laboratory but all the laboratories are subjected to this quality assurance),” she added.

President Duterte recently instructed the DOH to look into reports that some COVID-19 tests conducted at the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) produced inaccurate results.

On Sept. 21, the PRC said that all of its 13 laboratories were subjected to the RITM’s proficiency test.

“All 13 PRC Molecular Laboratories obtained a 100 percent score for the proficiency tests they underwent from the time the first molecular laboratory opened in April 2020,” it said in a statement.