Mon, 01 Jun 2020

PH network of testing labs expands

Philippine Information Agency
31 Mar 2020, 21:38 GMT+10

CALOOCAN CITY, March 31 (PIA) -- A Department of Health (DOH) official on Monday said the Philippines now has a larger network of testing laboratories that can respond to public health emergencies, especially in the effective screening COVID-19 cases.

"Nagbukas na ang apat na mga sub-national laboratories sa iba't ibang panig ng bansa noong nakaraaan lingo. Ito ay nasa Davao, Cebu, Northern Luzon, at Metro Manila," DOH Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire said during the Laging Handa Public Briefing yesterday.

University of the Philippine National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) had started operating last week and the Lung Center of the Philippines will also open its own as a sub-national laboratory this week, Vergeire added.

The DOH has remained meticulous in observing good laboratory practices and biosafety protocols recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Not all laboratories can be COVID-19 testing centers

To be compliant of the standards, the health department announced its five stages in certifying laboratories for COVID-19 testing. This includes self-assessment, validation, personnel training, proficiency testing, and full scale implementation.

However, the DOH said local government units and other establishments should first strictly comply with laboratory standards before facilities can perform diagnostic testing for COVID-19.

The DOH, meanwhile, said one of its strategies to combat the threat of COVID-19 is to enhance and expand our country's testing capabilities. (PIA-NCR)

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