The Philippines now has 30 accredited testing centers that are capable of detecting SARS CoV-2, the cause of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
On Tuesday, May 12, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque announces on Twitter the accreditation of two laboratories that can perform full-scale RT-PCR (real-time polymerase chain reaction) testing.
Duque tweets: "Allegiant Regional Care Hospital and Asian Hospital & Medical Center are now certified laboratories that can perform RT-PCR tests for COVID-19."
This comes on the heels of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire's virtual presser, where she says two GeneXpert laboratories--one in Lung Center of the Philippines and one in Zamboanga City Medical Center--are also added to the list of accredited laboratories by the Department of Health (DOH).
GeneXpert laboratories can provide test results within 45 minutes, which is a lot faster than the 24-hour lead time of the RT-PCR test kits being used in other DOH-accredited laboratories nationwide.
Here is the updated list of DOH-accredited COVID-19 testing centers:
COVID-19 testing centers must undergo a five-stage accreditation process before DOH allows them to implement full-scale testing.
As of May 11, 2020, there are 90 laboratory applications, according to the Beat COVID-19 Situationer #15 issued by the DOH.
Of these, 63 are already in stages three and four
The government's target is to have a total of 78 accredited COVID-19 testing centers by the end of May. That's according to Inquirer.net's interview with Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President Vince Dizon, who is also the deputy chief implementer of the government's COVID-19 response.
Meanwhile, Vergeire said that their target is to conduct 30,000 tests per day. Currently, the DOH-accredited testing centers are able to run more than 8,000 tests per day.
As of May 12, 4 p.m., DOH confirmed 264 new cases of COVID-19 in the country, raising the total to 11,350. Of these numbers, there are 2,106 recoveries, and 751 deaths.