Baguio to have 3 molecular laboratories

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BAGUIO CITY  – The testing capacity of government and private health facilities in the city will be enhanced following the commitment of the national government to support the put up of additional molecular laboratories to augment the existing capacity of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), the only accredited sub-national testing laboratory in Northern Luzon.

National Anti-COVID Action Plan Chief Implementer said that he was able to work out the provision of 2 reverse transmission polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines and automated extraction machine that will be delivered to the city by Sunday for the put up of the city0onwed molecular laboratory.

He pointed out that the upcoming operation of the 2 molecular laboratories in the city will contribute in the efforts of the government to increase the testing capacity to at least 1,500 tests per day which will be in addition to the testing capacity of BGHMC which is around 700 to 1,000 tests per day.

Galvez was in town to grace the meeting of the Regional Inter-agency Task Force and the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CRDRRMC) that was held at the Cordillera Convention Hall of the Baguio Country Club (BCC) Thursday.

The put up of the 2 additional molecular laboratories in the city was a proposal of Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong to ensure the immediate release of test results of potential Corona Virus Disease (COVID) suspects.

Magalong disclosed that a group of private doctors is now working on the put up of a private molecular laboratory that will be based in barangay Bakakeng Norte/Sur which will be operational by June.

He added that the city-owned molecular laboratory will be based and managed by the City Health Services Office (CHSO).

According to him, the other required units of equipment and other essential medical supplies will be procured by the local government or will be subjected to joint venture partnerships with the private sector to ensure the immediate operation of the vital facility that will guarantee the conduct of more tests in the city.

Initially, the local chief executive claimed that the local government will be investing some P5 million to put up the proposed molecular laboratory.

The city mayor stated that the local government does not to keep the individuals who were subjected to the mandatory swab test to be waiting for more than 3 days because of the backlog of BGHMC that is why he proposed to the national task force the need to put up additional molecular laboratories in the city where one will be privately-owned while the other will be owned by the city.

He expressed his gratitude to Secretary Galvez for his immediate action on the requests for the provision of the 2 PCR machines and the automated extraction machine that will help in the realization of the put up of the molecular laboratory to lessen the burden of the BGHMC.

Earlier, Secretary Galvez also worked out the delivery to the city of some 3,000 rapid test kits that are now currently being used for the city’s contract tracing and testing of priority sectors.

By Dexter A. See