COVID testing in Region XI to be augmented by accredited local labs

The Department of Health Davao Center for Health and Development (DOH DCHD) will establish certified laboratories in the Davao Region to augment the current capacity of health authorities in testing for COVID-19.

The current capacity for testing for COVID-19 at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) is at 100 to 150 tests per day covering the entire Mindanao. The said medical facility is looking into partnering with the laboratory of the University of the Philippines Mindanao Genome Center (UPMGC) and Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC). With the addition of the said laboratory, testing can increase the range of detection for COVID-19 in communities within the Davao region and other parts of Mindanao.

The Chief Training Officer for SPMC Dr. Maria Elinore Concha discussed how important it is to establish partnerships with other medical facilities to provide infrastructure for testing and eventually further the campaign of controlling the spread of the said virus.

“Ang partnership ng UP Mindanao Genome Center at Davao Regional Medical Center din for the Davao Region para magkaroon pa ng isang pasilidad upang mag mapalawig pa ang testing (The partnership with the UP Mindanao Genome Center and Davao Regional Medical Center for the Davao is to have an additional facility to widen the scope of testing in the Davao Region),” Dr. Concha said.

The Assistant Regional Director for the DOH DCHD Dr. Lenny Joy Rivera said that the recent six (6) positive cases last April 19 were exposed and infected through community transmission in the Davao Region. With this, health authorities in the region seek to implement a wider testing coverage due to the increasing cases of local community transmissions in Region XI.

“Marami nga tayong case sa Buhangin pero hindi lang diyan nila nakuha yun – yung index case nila is hindi lahat galing diyan kasi mobile yung mga tao eh…yung iba naman within the household lang (We have a lot of cases in Buhangin but not all cases were exposed in the same area – the index case of patients is not from the same area because the people are mobile…the others [were infected] within their household,” Dr. Rivera said. (PIA XI/KPC)