For the period of September 1-23, 2021, Southern Leyte has reported a total number of 912 COVID-19 positive cases with a positivity rate of 34.9%, which is higher than the positivity rate of the whole Region VIII for the same period. Given this data, the need to increase our COVID-19 testing is imperative for us to combat the rapid increase of infection.
Toward this end, the province has established a molecular diagnostic laboratory located at Salvacion Oppus Yñiguez Memorial Provincial Hospital. This is a priority project of the province to fast-track COVID-19 swab testing. The facility can process one thousand (1000) tests per day, according to Dr. Cleocita Portula, Molecular Laboratory Pathologist. She added that the results of the tests done in the morning will be released in the afternoon of the same day. This is much faster than the current two (2) days waiting time.
According to Dr. Ionne L. Castillones, SOYMPH Medical Center Chief, the machines and equipment needed are all ready for set-up and installation. In addition, the nine laboratory personnel have been hired and have undergone six (6) months intensive training at Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, and Research Institute of Tropical Medicine.
The establishment of the molecular diagnostic laboratory is wholly funded by the Provincial Government of Southern Leyte. Total cost of the project reached almost 60 million pesos.
The laboratory is expected to start its operations by the end of October or early November 2021.
(Reports from: Damian Mercado Facebook Account)