BACOLOD CITY – Theprovincial government of Negros Oriental, the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), and the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH) inaugurated the province’s first coronavirus disease (COVID-19) molecular testing center in Dumaguete City on Wednesday, October 28.

IMG 5220 - First COVID-19 testing facility in Negros Oriental unveiled
EDC Negros Oriental facility head, Debonaire Mamhot (left) turns over the RT-PCR machines to Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo (right) and the Negros Oriental IATF group. (Photo courtesy of EDC / MANILA BULLETIN)

The testing facility will enable more timely reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing of COVID-19 swab samples from local residents once it completes all accreditation requirements and gets the green light from the Department of Health (DOH) to operate.

NOPH will operate and maintain the facility with the P11-million worth of equipment, including two state-of-the-art RT–PCR machines, that EDC has donated. 

With the two RT-PCR machines that can process up to 500 swab tests per day, the laboratory will expedite the processing of COVID-19 swab samples, with results released within the day unlike before when it took up to 10 days for Negrenses to get them from the nearest testing centers in Cebu City.

In early September, the landmark agreement was signed by Governor Roel Degamo, Hospital Incident Command System Commander and Chair of Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) EID Committee on Health Dr. Liland Estacion, NOPH head Dr. Mark Angelo Llosa, and EDC officials, led by President and Chief Operating Officer Richard B. Tantoco, and was witnessed by Deputy Chief Implementer of IATF against COVID-19 Secretary Vivencio Dizon.

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