Bacolod hospital certified to perform Covid-19 pooled test

Philippine News Agency

September 14, 2021

COVID-19 TESTING LAB. The façade of the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital-Bacolod City Bio-safety Level 3 Molecular Laboratory. It has been certified by the Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine to do pooled testing on Covid-19 swab specimens using the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR. (PNA Bacolod file photo)

BACOLOD CITY – The Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) here has been certified by the Department of Health- Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM) to conduct pooled testing on coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) swab specimens.

In a statement on Tuesday, the hospital management said the molecular laboratory, using the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), will implement the certification under the approved and verified standard operating procedures.

The CLMMRH, led by Dr. Julius Drilon, medical center chief II, said pooled testing means they can analyze five specimens at a time, which is cheaper and faster, without sacrificing the test result reliability.

“The essence of this is we can monitor the SARS-CoV2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) status of a group of individuals in a community like healthcare workers in a health facility for surveillance monitoring at a more reasonable price,” it added.

SARS-CoV2 is the virus that causes Covid-19.

The CLMMRH-Bacolod City Molecular Laboratory, which started its operation in July last year, was established as a partnership between the City of Bacolod and the DOH.

It is the first hospital-based Level 3 testing laboratory in the country.

Earlier this year, CLMMRH-Bacolod City Molecular Laboratory obtained a 100 percent passing rate on SARS-CoV-2 detection by RT-PCR, based on the 2021 External Quality Assessment conducted by the DOH-RITM. (PNA)

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