Backlogs in DOH-7 molecular lab reach 1K
CEBU CITY, Philippines — At least 1,000 swab samples are still pending for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing in one of Cebu’s molecular laboratories, an official from the regional health office confirmed.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), said one of their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines malfunctioned, resulting in delays and backlogs in the region’s COVID-19 testing.
“Currently, CTRL (Cebu TB Reference Laboratory for COVID-19 Testing Facility) only has 1,000 as its backlogs…” Loreche told reporters in a virtual press conference.
While DOH-7 is waiting for the replacement, Loreche, however, assured the public that COVID-19 testing in their laboratory was still ongoing, and that other testing facilities were still functional.
“While it is true that CTRL is paralyzed a bit because of the defective machine, but despite that problem we have, we are still able to come up with results of around 900 to 1,200 in 24 hours,” she added.
According to Loreche, before their machine bogged down, they were able to process around 2,000 swab tests in a day. She also said they might catch up with the pending samples within the next one to two days.
“In the coming days, maybe in one to two days, it (CTRL) should be able to cope with those backlogs,” added Loreche.
CTRL is DOH -7’s own molecular laboratory which is housed in the regional health office’s compound along Osmeña Boulevard in Cebu City.
Central Visayas currently has six molecular laboratories accredited to process COVID-19 tests, and all of them are located in Cebu.
At least two of them were ran and managed by the government, including DOH-7’s CTRL. The other one is housed at the nearby Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC).
As of Sunday, July 19, DOH-7 has documented a total of 13,677 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 6,139 recoveries and 666 deaths.
They were able to test a total of 1,554 samples for COVID-19 on Sunday but the results were only produced from the government-run laboratories. /dbs
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