2nd COVID-19 testing center in Bicol starts operation
Legazpi City, May 28 (PIA) – The Bicol Medical Center (BMC) in Naga City started coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing on Thursday, May 28, 2020, after receiving its license to operate from the Department of Health (DOH) yesterday.
Dr. Ernie Vera, DOH Bicol regional director, said in a statement that the facility would use rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing or GeneXpert testing.
Vera added that the facility will cater to the provinces of Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte.
The lab in BMC is the second COVID-19 testing facility in the region which has the capacity to conduct 40 tests a day every Tuesday to Sunday as per guidelines released by the DOH Bicol. Mondays are reserved for decontamination of the facility.
The cut-off time for receiving specimens from Camarines Sur including Naga City is at 9:00 A.M. while from Camarines Norte is at 12:00 noon. Samples received beyond cut-off time will be processed the following day.
“Camarines Sur and Naga City are allotted 15 slots each, while Camarines Norte is allotted 10 slots. The province or city can send more than their allocated slots but these will be run on the following day,” Vera explained.
Earlier, the Bicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory (BRDRL) here resumed its operation after its exhaust duct has been repaired. The BRDRL can now conduct at least 90 to 100 tests per day compared to the 30-50 tests per day capacity of the lab before.
As of writing, there are 68 confirmed COVID-19 cases, five deaths and 47 recoveries in Bicol region. (PIA5/DDC/DOH5)