The newly-built coronavirus disease (COVID-19) laboratory in Quezon City has been given a green light by the Department of Health to operate, just after three days when it was unveiled.
Mayor Joy Belmonte on Tuesday welcomed the news after the city’s new three-storey laboratory, which was launched on October 10, passed the proficiency test set by the DOH and obtained a perfect score for showing accurate results of five samples, which were initially reviewed by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
“Through this laboratory, we can now process test results faster, thus allowing us to act quickly on the isolation and treatment of patients,” Belmonte said, “Mas mabilis din tayong makakakilos pagdating sa contact tracing kaya maagapan natin ang pagkalat ng virus sa ating mga komunidad (We will also be able to act faster when it comes to contact tracing and curb the spread of the virus in our community).”
Dr. Rolly Cruz, head of the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU), is confident that a faster turnaround time that the new laboratory will bring to the city’s COVID-19 response will enable them to come up with immediate and necessary measures that have to be taken.
Joseph Juico, QC COVID-19 task force head, added that the approval of the molecular laboratory would mean less expense for the local government as the city no longer has to pay private hospitals and laboratories for the test.
“With this laboratory, Quezon City can now independently conduct tests and will no longer need to rely on other private labs who are hard pressed to produce results needed by other cities,” he said.
He added that the molecular laboratory is considered as a long-term valuable investment for the city as it can be used to identify and process other infectious diseases and for research purposes.
The molecular laboratory is housed in a three-storey building in Barangay Teachers Village East. It has an area for data encoding, conference rooms, and sleeping quarters for the 20 workers from the City Health Department.