More Covid-19 labs to open in Bacolod City

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BIO-LAB TOUR. Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia (in red) and wife Elsa, with Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran (partly hidden), check out some of the equipment at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital Biosafety Molecular Laboratory during a familiarization tour on Tuesday (July 7, 2020). The PHP20-million bio-lab funded by the city government is set to open on July 11. (Photo courtesy of Bacolod City PIO)

BACOLOD CITY – More coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) laboratories are set to open here in the coming days, a development seen to fast-track the release of the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results of city residents.

The city government-funded Level 3 Biosafety Molecular Laboratory at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) will be unveiled on July 11.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia, with Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and other city officials, toured the biosafety laboratory on Tuesday ahead of the scheduled opening.

“The city is investing PHP20 million for this bio-lab and we can definitely say that it is worth it. It was a unanimous decision of our city officials to make this come true because we are all aware of its major positive impact in our fight against Covid-19,” Leonardia said.

The CLMMRH bio-lab will start to operate once it is given a license by the Department of Health (DOH) after the conduct of proficiency testing on Wednesday.

The city government allotted PHP14 million for the building and other structures and PHP4.8 million for the procurement of equipment reagents and test kits.

On Tuesday, the Bacolod Queen of Mercy Hospital (BQMH) Bio-Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory was inaugurated ahead of its scheduled operation on July 13.

“We salute the Bacolod Queen of Mercy Hospital for their impact project. This is the call of the times and their institution has proven again its responsiveness and relevance to the community. With the strong participation of the private sector, the city becomes more equipped in this fight against Covid-19,” Leonardia said in a statement.

City Administrator Em Ang, who represented Leonardia during the unveiling rites, said the bio-lab would complement the operation of the Bacolod Respiratory Referral Center (BRRC).

The hospital hosts the BRRC in partnership with the city government.

“We would like to thank the BQMH for the meaningful partnership, especially in this time of Covid-19,” Ang said.

Dr. Evangeline Johnson, board chair of the BQMH, said the laboratory would begin its operation after the hospital management signs a memorandum of agreement with the Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City as part of the requirements for the issuance of license.

It will have a capacity to conduct 120 Covid-19 tests per day or about 400 to 600 tests per week, she added.

Earlier, The Doctors’ Hospital, Inc. here also opened its own bio-lab in collaboration with Mount Grace Hospitals, Inc. and United Laboratories.

The Molecular Laboratory being set up by Philippine Red Cross Negros Occidental – Bacolod City Chapter will also open soon.

In Negros Occidental, the Capitol-owned Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital (TLJPH) Molecular Laboratory in Silay City has been operating since the first week of June after being certified by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to perform Covid-19 tests. (PNA)

The Philippine News Agency is a web-based newswire service of the Philippine government under the supervision of the News and Information Bureau (NIB) of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

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