Chinese biotech firm opens coronavirus testing lab in Pampanga

Mara Cepeda
Chinese biotech firm opens coronavirus testing lab in Pampanga
The new facility at the Jose B Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital is designed to test 3,000 coronavirus specimens daily

MANILA, Philippines – Chinese biotech firm BGI group opened a new laboratory in San Fernando, Pampanga to help boost the country’s coronavirus testing capacity. 

In a Facebook post on Saturday, May 9, the Chinese Embassy said the Molecular and Diagnostic Pathology Laboratory, also called as Huo-Yan Laboratory, at the Jose B Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital can test 3,000 COVID-19 samples daily. 

The opening ceremony was attended by Tan QingSheng, representative of Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian, Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, and Asia Development Bank vice president Ahmed Saeed. 

There are currently 24 accredited COVD-19 testing facilities across the Philippines. The Huo-Yan Laboratory is not part of this list yet.  

As of Saturday, the country has tallied a a total of 10,610 people were infected with COVID-19, 704 cases of which were fatal. Still, 1,842 patients have already recovered from COVID-19.

Parts of the country remain under lockdown as of Sunday, May 10, to help quell the rising number of cases of the coronavirus, which originated from Wuhan City, which is part of Hubei province in China and has since spread throughout the world.

Leaders in the United States, along with lawyers in Nigeria and Egypt, recently sued China over the coronavirus outbreak.

In the Philippines, however, any possibility of this was turned down for now as Malacañang said no state obligations were violated.–

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.