DOH: 4 hospitals ready for full-scale virus testing, 30 labs to follow

Lian Buan

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DOH: 4 hospitals ready for full-scale virus testing, 30 labs to follow


This speeds up the process because the 4 hospitals no longer need to have their results validated by the RITM

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) said on Saturday, March 28, that the 4 sub-national laboratories have been given the go-ahead signal and are now ready to do full-scale testing of coronavirus.

The 4 labs are:

  • San Lazaro Hospital in Manila City
  • Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City
  • Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City
  • Baguio General Hospital in Baguio City

Previously, these sub-national labs have to send their test results to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for validation.

That is why the 4 labs have only been able to do 80 to 160 tests per day, while RITM can do 900 to 1,000 tests per day.

“Nabigyan na sila ng full certification, ibig sabihin hindi na kailangan magpadala ng mga positibong kaso sa RITM ang sub-national labs para i-validate kasi nabigyan na po sila ng certification for individual testing, puwede na po silang magpalabas ng resulta ng mga positibo,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Saturday.

(They have been given full certification, it means they no longer have to send their positive cases to the RITM for validation because they’re now certified to do individual testing, they can now release results for those positive for coronavirus.)

Groups have called for mass testing, citing the success of South Korea in addressing the problem by providing free mass testing. 

Vergeire said the Lung Center of the Philippines is expected to be certified for full implementation on March 30.

There are 30 other laboratories nationwide undergoing different stages of certification, both private and public.

“Pito po dito sa mga facilities na to ay nasa advanced stages na sa proseso ng pag certify,” said Vergeire.

(Seven of these facilities are on advanced stages of the certification process.)

Vergeire said 50,000 kits were recently donated to the San Lazaro Hospital by Senator Manny Pacquiao.

“Asahan po natin na sa darating na linggo o sa darating pang mga araw tataas na po ang magagawang testing ng mga sub national laboratories,” said Vergeire.

(We can expect that in the next weeks or the next days we will increase our capacity to test through these sub-national laboratories.) –


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Lian Buan

Lian Buan is a senior investigative reporter, and minder of Rappler's justice, human rights and crime cluster.