January 29, 2023

The Benguet molecular laboratory might be fully operational by January next year once the Department of Health issues a permit to operate for the facility located at the Benguet General Hospital.

Gov. Melchor Diclas said they plan to conduct a dry run this month to ensure the smooth operation of the molecular laboratory, which can process RT-PCR samples.

Diclas said he has signed the purchase orders for the additional machines for the laboratory, which need time to be prepared and evaluated by the DOH.

The testing laboratory will help boost the Covid-19 testing capability of the region and augment the current testing capacity of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, which serves as the primary testing laboratory in Northern Luzon.  

BeGH Chief Meliarazon Dulay earlier said personnel who will manage the laboratory underwent various training at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and the BGHMC.

Benguet legislative caretaker Eric Yap provided funds for the construction of the laboratory building and donated the RT-PCR and automated extraction machines along with its consumables to the province.

Aside from the molecular laboratory, the province is also eyeing for the establishment of a dialysis center within the BeGH compound.

The province is waiting for the release of the 10 dialysis machines that it requested from the DOH.

“We will write to Secretary Francisco Duque for the DOH to release the machines because the machines were acquired already and is just placed in a warehouse,” Diclas said.

The province has constructed a P5 million worth building to house the dialysis center, located behind the molecular laboratory.

He said the operation of the dialysis center is also targeted January next year once the dialysis machines are delivered. – Ofelia C. Empian