SPMC’s new P18-million molecular lab to ‘quadruple’ testing efforts

TESTING CAPACITY. Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) inaugurates Metrobank Foundation (MBFI) and George Ty Foundation donated molecular laboratory constructed by Ateneo de Davao University, January 9. Photo taken from @MetrobankFound Twitter page/Igy Castrillo

With Davao City posting one of the highest increase in COVID-19 cases nationwide, a newly-inaugurated P18-million molecular lab at the Southern Philippines Medical Center aims to “quadruple” the city’s testing capacity.

Inaugurated on Sunday, January 9, 2021, the facility will run up to 200 samples per day for reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests with a result turn-around time of three operating days.

It was funded by the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. and constructed by the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU).

In a statement by Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio, she said that the increase of testing capacity will allow the government to provide appropriate responses to those who need it.

Meanwhile, SPMC officer-in-charge Dr. Ricardo Audan, said that the molecular laboratory is an improvement to SPMC, technology-wise.

Dr. Leopoldo J. Vega, Undersecretary of the Department of Health, also thanked the benefactors saying that such is a milestone for providing universal health care and for responding to the virus.

“As we continue to innovate and adopt interventions to provide immediate health care services to our patients, we thank all of those who supported the growth of the health sector of the Philippines.” He said.

Mr. Alfred V. Ty, representative of Metrobank Foundation, Inc., said that the molecular laboratory is the physical manifestation of their commitment to respond to the needs of societies during crises.

“The GT Capital Foundation and Metrobank group have been working hard in supporting various initiatives to address and combat the effects of the pandemic since the start of the lockdown.” Ty said.

The project was finished within 66 days despite inclement weather, according to AdDU President Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ.

As of January 12, 2021, Davao city has topped the list of cities and provinces with the most number of newly-announced cases, surpassing Quezon City, the most populous area in the Philippines. 

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