Manila’s se­cond COVID lab gets ap­proval

The ma­chines that are be­ing in­stalled in the new lab­o­ra­tory will an­a­lyze 90 tests per hour, and the pro­cesses in­volved will be more ex­ten­sive than in the first lab­o­ra­tory

Daily Tribune (Philippines) - - METRO -

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Depart­ment of Health (DoH), World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, and Re­search In­sti­tute for Trop­i­cal Medicine have in­spected the new RT-PCR (real time-poly­merase chain re­ac­tion) Molec­u­lar Lab­o­ra­tory at the Santa Ana Hos­pi­tal and have given their ap­proval to the fa­cil­ity.

Mayor Fran­cisco “Isko Moreno” Do­magoso said the lab­o­ra­tory, the se­cond in the city, is big­ger than the first COVID-19 cen­ter at the hos­pi­tal.

The mayor said the new lab­o­ra­tory has state-of-the-art equip­ment and will en­able the city gov­ern­ment to ad­min­is­ter a swab test to about a thou­sand in­di­vid­u­als per day us­ing the gold stan­dard RT-PCR ma­chine.

He thanked Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, DoH, Depart­ment of Bud­get and Man­age­ment and Ayala Cor­po­ra­tion for help­ing re­al­ize his goal to have a se­cond lab­o­ra­tory in the city to bet­ter ad­dress the pan­demic.

The first COVID-19 lab­o­ra­tory at Santa Ana Hos­pi­tal is able to test about 200 to 250 per­sons per day.

Dr. Grace Padilla, Santa Ana Hos­pi­tal di­rec­tor, said the ma­chines that are be­ing in­stalled in the new lab­o­ra­tory on the ground floor will an­a­lyze 90 tests per hour, and the pro­cesses in­volved will be more ex­ten­sive than in the first lab­o­ra­tory.

How­ever, the turn­around time for both lab­o­ra­to­ries will be the same.

Padilla ex­plained the first lab was ac­cred­ited as an Xpert Xpress SARS-Cov-2 test­ing lab where the en­tire sys­tem only re­quires a car­tridge with the spec­i­men to read it.

In the se­cond lab­o­ra­tory, the virus ex­trac­tion will be fol­lowed by am­pli­fi­ca­tion and other pro­cesses be­fore be­ing fi­nally read by the PCR ma­chine.

Last 6 Septem­ber, Do­magoso, Vice Mayor Honey La­cuna and Sec­re­tary to the Mayor Bernie Ang re­ceived a do­na­tion of two Sansure ex­trac­tion ma­chines, which are fully-au­to­mated nu­cleic acid ex­trac­tion sys­tems, ef­fec­tively re­al­iz­ing the mayor’s goal to test more res­i­dents on a daily ba­sis.

Do­magoso also ex­pressed grat­i­tude to Ayala Foun­da­tion and its group of com­pa­nies for of­fer­ing to shoul­der the costs for the build­ing of the new lab­o­ra­tory, es­ti­mated to cost P7.7 mil­lion.

The lab­o­ra­tory is costly be­cause, aside from the needed equip­ment, even the ven­ti­la­tion or neg­a­tive pres­sure has to be reg­u­lated in such a way as to en­sure the med­i­cal front­lin­ers run­ning it will be pro­tected from in­fec­tion.

PAT C. SAN­TOS

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