Antique eyes operation of molecular lab by end of May


The province of Antique is looking forward to the start of the operation of a molecular laboratory being constructed at the compound of the Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital (ASMGH) in San Jose de Beunavista by end of May.

Dr. Feman Rene Autajay, team leader of the Department of Health (DOH) Antique, said that the training of medical technologists who will operate the reverse transcription molecular polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) molecular laboratory is ongoing at the University of the Philippines (UP) Institute of Health in Miag-ao, Iloilo.

In an earlier interview, ASMGH chief of hospital Dr. Jose Lyndion Perez said by next week or a few weeks from now they will have a dry run once the designated personnel completed the training.

The laboratory will be manned by one pathologist and six medical technologists.

Their training started on April 29 and so far, the trainees have already completed three of the seven stages, a requirement in securing accreditation from the DOH.

“We hope to finish the training by next week so there could be a dry run,” Perez said.

Autajay said the operation of the Antique laboratory would result in shortened waiting time in the release of specimen results and enhanced contact tracing efforts.

Currently, collected specimens are brought to the Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) in Mandurriao or the Uswag Molecular Laboratory, both in Iloilo City with a waiting time of up to three days or one day when prioritized.

“The faster that you could get the swab test result, the better because contact tracing of the first and second layers could immediately be conducted,” Autajay said.

He said contact tracing is important so that those contacts could immediately be placed under quarantine, and, thus the spread of the COVID-19 could be prevented.

The provincial government has allocated P19 million for the construction of the structure for the RT-PCR laboratory.PNA




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