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Bataan test facility gets DoH green light

Jonas Reyes



BALANGA CITY, BATAAN — The Department of Health (DoH) gave the go-signal for the operation of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing facility in the Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) as it was awarded a license to operate.

BGHMC medical center chief Dr. Glory Baltazar said that the 1Bataan-BGHMC Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) Laboratory is the first operational facility in Bataan and the second in Central Luzon aside from the Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital’s Pandemic Sub-national Reference Laboratory in Pampanga.

Baltazar added that the laboratory will use both the RT-PCR and GeneXpert rapid testing machine, which can perform up to 250 tests per day.

“(GeneXpert) will be used for emergency cases because it can provide immediate results,” Baltazar said.

Personnel to man the laboratory have likewise passed the proficiency test conducted by the DoH and were divided into two teams to separately operate the RT-PCR and GeneXpert machines.

Gov. Albert Garcia said that this will ensure getting a faster result for patients that will only take two to three days.

“The importance of this facility is that we can immediately identify confirmed patients so we can isolate and treat them, conduct contact tracing after, which will prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in our province,” Garcia stressed.

As the economy gradually opens during the general community quarantine period, Garcia said the facility will help them in case there is a second wave of the disease.