Sun, 12 Jul 2020

Bataan receives license to operate rapid COVID-19 PCR testing machine

Philippine Information Agency
03 Jun 2020, 00:38 GMT+10

BALANGA CITY, June 2 (PIA) -- Bataan will soon conduct rapid Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases after the Department of Health (DOH) granted the province license to operate the testing machine.

Governor Albert Raymond Garcia said Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) recently received a GeneXpert machine that can provide COVID-19 results in only one to two hours. The machine reportedly has 95 to 97 percent accuracy rate.

"As per the report of Dr. Glory Baltazar, chief of BGHMC, the GeneXpert test is intended for emergency cases to easily determine whether the patient should be isolated or admitted at BGHMC which was designated as an exclusive COVID-19 facility," Garcia disclosed in a statement.

The rapid PCR testing machine includes 600 testing kits provided by DOH, and BGHMC is expecting another GeneXpert to be delivered by the second week of June.

"Patients will no longer have to wait long before they know the result of their test, and they can stay at the hospital's triage area for their doctor's next move," Garcia added.

The governor stressed that the machine is part of the COVID-19 testing facility in the province, which shall be called as 1Bataan-BGHMC PCR Laboratory, with RT-PCR machine and other equipment for testing.

"In the meantime, we are just waiting for the negative pressure system to be installed in the laboratory before we can receive full accreditation from the authorities," he revealed.

Once fully operational, 1Bataan-BGHMC PCR Laboratory will be capable of conducting about 350 COVID-19 tests in a day. The facility is located at the Provincial Health Office compound in Balanga City.

Garcia also reiterated the existing Memorandum of Agreement with Philippine Red Cross and Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital in Pampanga which both expanded number of conducted tests in a day in Bataan.

"The provincial government is doing everything we can because I believe that wider capabilities for expanded testing and efficient contact-tracing are the keys to fully combat COVID-19," the local chief executive assured his constituents. (CLJD/MJSD-PIA 3)

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