March 3, 2024

Up to 2,800 specimens per month are expected to be processed in the recently opened Benguet General Hospital molecular laboratory in La Trinidad, Benguet.
BeGH Acting Chief, Dr. Meliarazon Dulay, said the Covid-19 testing laboratory can process 93 specimens a day since it started operation on Feb. 21.
The specimens are processed in the morning and test results are expected on the same day. 
“We prioritize the patients in the hospital and then the rest of specimens are collected by the Provincial Health Office from the different municipalities,” Dulay said.
She said there are also other private hospitals that run their tests at the BeGH testing laboratory, including the neighboring Cordillera Hospital of the Divine Grace located in Barangay Puguis. 
The testing laboratory has 10 staff members led by Drs. Bernadette Baldo and Jennifer Binayan, who trained at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. 
Dulay said they are waiting for the additional reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machine from the Department of Health, which will help them expand operation and train additional staff members.
Benguet caretaker Eric Yap has funded the construction of the laboratory building and donated the RT-PCR and automated extraction machines along with its consumables.
The DOH recently issued the provincial testing laboratory a license to operate which is valid from Feb. 16 to Dec. 31. It is the third public hospital in the Cordillera to have a molecular laboratory. – Ofelia Empian