New molecular lab in Mt Province to facilitate COVID-19 testing

By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis

BAGUIO CITY, Feb. 11(PIA) — COVID-19 specimen testing in Mountain Province and other nearby areas will be facilitated  with the  new testing laboratory at the regional hospital in Abatan, Bauko now issued  its license to operate
Department of Health -Cordillera Regional Director Ruby Constantino announced that the DOH has  awarded  License to Operate (LTO) to the Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) Testing Laboratory thru the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction.  The LTO is effective from February 4 to December 31, 2021.
The LHMRH molecular laboratory is the third COVID-19 testing laboratory in the Cordillera region and the first outside Baguio City. The first laboratory is the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) which was designated as the sub-national testing center for North Luzon by the DOH since the start of the pandemic. The second is the Parkway Medical and Diagnostic Center, a private molecular laboratory certified by the DOH, and accredited by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.
The LHMRH molecular lab with its equipment and machines was inaugurated in October last year.  Hospital personnel have been trained by the DOH, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and the BGHMC for the management of the COVID-19 testing.
Constantino said the new laboratory will facilitate the COVID-19 testing and response in the Cordillera region especially with the increasing COVID-19 cases in Mountain Province and nearby Kalinga. Specimens could now be processed at the LHMRH effecting lesser travel time and faster results.
As of today, COVID-19 specimens from the different provinces in the Cordillera region are being transported to the Baguio City for processing at the BGHMC which would take several hours plus the processing time.

Mountain Province Congressman Maximo Dalog Jr.  said the provision of license to operate for LHMRH by the DOH is very timely as this will help decongest the COVID-19 testing at the BGHMC. He also thanked the hospital work force led by Medical Center Chief Eduardo Calpito. for their untiring effort in the realization of the molecular laboratory and its license.
Both Dalog and Calpito are instrumental in the establishment of molecular lab in Mt. Province.
Meanwhile, the Benguet General Hospital Molecular Laboratory is still awaiting for its license to operate from the DOH for it to be in full operation. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)