BAGUIO CITY – Hoping to improve COVID-19 testing capacity of Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), the City of Baguio is setting eyes on the procurement of a multi-million automated extraction machine (AEM).
BGHMC is an accredited sub-national COVID-19 testing center in Northern Luzon.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said the city decided to cancel procurement of reverse transmission polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test kits.
He revealed the RT-PCR test kits from the University of the Philippines – National Institute for Health (UP-NIH) initially eyed by the city were earlier flagged by the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) for quality control issues.
Magalong ordered the City Health Services Office (CHSO) and the City General Services Office (GSO) to coordinate with BGHMC to ascertain specifications of the AEM and to fast-track procurement.
Earlier, 4,000 RT-PCR test kits donated by SM foundation to BGHMC were withheld by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) because of quality control and compatibility issues.
The local government is targeting the testing of 35-percent of the city’s population (about 140,000-individuals) by December this year to be able to have a fairly accurate stats on the spread of COVID-19 infection in the city.
The mayor claimed, the machine will help speed up COVID-19 testing that is more reliable and accurate.
By Dexter A. See