PRO-7 cops inaugurate their own molecular lab 

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | November 21,2020 - 01:00 PM

The Police Regional Office in Central Visayas has inaugurated its molecular laboratory, which serves policemen and their dependents taking COVID-19 tests. CDN Digital photo | Morexette Marie B. Erram

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Another molecular laboratory opens in Central Visayas.

This after police officials together with Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Police General Debold Sinas led the blessing and inauguration of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas’ (PRO-7) own molecular laboratory on Saturday, November 21. 

The facility, which is located within the compound of Camp Sotero Cabahug in Cebu City, will accommodate real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for police and their dependents for possible coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. 

Read: DOH issues guidelines on enclosed spaces during pandemic

It houses four swab booths and dedicated isolation rooms. 

Construction of the P10 million facility, whose budget came from the PNP, began last June and it is designed to process around 300 to 400 swab samples per day. 

Read: Molecular Laboratory of PRO-7 nears completion

Dr. Jaime Bernadas, director of Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), said the laboratory would be operational once personnel and experts from the police would finish their training.

“The police will be providing manpower to run this facility, but they will have to complete their training first before it can start operations,” Bernadas told reporters in Cebuano. 

According to DOH’s guidelines, molecular laboratories nationwide need to secure accreditation from their agency first before they can start running COVID-19 tests.

The accreditation process is divided into five phases, with Phase III involving training and orientation of personnel who will be running it. 

Laboratories can only start their operations once they reach Phase V.

As of November 20, data from DOH’s central office showed that Central Visayas has a total of 12 molecular laboratories accredited to do COVID-19 tests, both from the private and public sector.

Bernadas said the results of PRO-7’s own molecular laboratory will be included in the region’s tally and monitoring of the coronavirus outbreak. /dbs

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