The Benguet General Hospital molecular laboratory can process 700 specimens per day when it becomes operational for 24 hours under three shifts.
“We are waiting for the complete training of our medical technologists. If it will operate in three shifts, then we increase our testing capacity at 700 tests in 24 hours,” Benguet Gov. Melchor Diclas said.
The laboratory can process 93 specimens per day from various hospitals and municipal health offices in the province.
Dicals thanked Benguet legislative caretaker Eric Yap for donating another RT-PCR testing machine last month.
The BeGH laboratory was closed for recalibration of the RT-PCR machine while some laboratory personnel who contracted the Covid-19 were on isolation.
Samples from district hospitals and rural health units were brought to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center when the BeGH molecular laboratory was temporarily closed.
With the increased testing capacity, the BeGH could immediately release test results to the residents.
“We do not have to wait for three days for the results to arrive. At least within 24 hours we can already get the result,” Diclas said.
The faster turnaround time would also be advantageous for relatives of deceased individuals that are swabbed to help them decide if they can hold wakes or not. This would prevent holding wakes for Covid-19 positive deceased that are not cremated.
The province is also waiting for the additional RT-PCR machine from the Department of Health. – Ofelia C. Empian