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Davao City, Philippines

SPMC to quadruple testing capacity with new lab

January 12, 2021 - Tuesday 2:01 PM by PIA

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DAVAO CITY (PIA) -- The new P18-million molecular laboratory in the Southern Philippine Medical Center compound will quadruple the existing COVID-19 tests in the hospital. 

“Thru this facility its capacity for testing for the virus using the gold standard for testing has at least quadrupled,” Fr. Joel Tabora, president of the Ateneo de Davao University said. 

Using RT PCR (Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction) test, the molecular laboratory is capable of testing 200 samples per day for an 8-hour shift and with a result turn-around time of three operating days.  

The negative pressure molecular laboratory which was inaugurated on Jan. 9 was established thru the donation of Metrobank Foundation and George Ty Foundation to the Ateneo de Davao University for it to build the laboratory which in turn donated it to the SPMC. 

Fr. Tabora said in completing the project as per specifications, Ateneo de Davao applied value engineering and an efficient bidding process. 

“We were therefore able to bring down the costs as projected by SPMC thereby allowing us to increase the footprint of the laboratory, add to it more equipment, provide landscaping, and equip the lab with its own generator and uninterrupted power supply,” Fr. Tabora said 

Fr. Tabora added that they completed the project within 66 calendar days despite inclement weather and strict health protocols. 

“The inauguration of this molecular laboratory is a manifestation of our commitment to continuously serve as an institution that readily responds to the needs of society during catastrophic events and health crisis such as this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Alfred Ty, president of George Ty Foundation and trustee of the Metrobank Foundation said in his message. 

The SPMC laboratory is the 10th facility of such kind donated by the two foundations. 

City Mayor Sara Duterte said the facility will surely augment testing effort and support the City Government of Davao in its response. 

“With this lab we hope to quadruple the testing facility of the SPMC, especially as the burden caused by COVID-19 has been felt most acutely by those in the margins of society: hence increasing testing capacity will enable government to provide appropriate response to those in need,” City Mayor Duterte-Carpio said in her message which was read by Dr. Marjorie Culas of the City Health Office. 

SPMC OIC Medical Director Dr. Ricardo Audan said the molecular laboratory will elevate the SPMC technology-wise and it symbolizes generosity in whatever form which manifested during the pandemic. 

“Our partners the Metrobank and ADDU had been really generous to have donated this molecular laboratory, their good hearts had been realized into this concrete building these are the reasons why we have managed to cope so well so far,” Dr. Audan said in his message. PIA XI/RG Alama