THE Department of Health said the four sub-national laboratories testing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) could begin releasing their own test results as they had been certified by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire identified the sub-national laboratories as the: Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, San Lazaro Hospital, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center and Southern Philippines Medical Center.
“Ngayon pong nabigyan na sila ng full certification, ibig sabihin hindi na po kailangan mag-padala ng mga positibong kaso dito sa RITM ang ating sub-national laboratories para i-validate kasi nabigyan na po sila ng certification for individual testing. Pwede na po sila mag-palabas ng kanilang resulta ng mga positibo. So asahan po natin sa darating na linggo at sa darating pa'ng mga araw, tataas na po ang magagawang testing ng ating mga sub-national laboratories,” she said.
Vergeire also clarified that the laboratories had been conducting at least 80 to 160 COVID-19 tests per day since last week.
“Activated na po ang ating sub-national laboratories mula pa nu'ng isang linggo. Katulad ng sabi ko sa inyo kanina, sila po ay nakapag-tala ng mga 80 to 160 tests per day nung isang linggo,” she said.
The RITM, meanwhile, could now conduct 900 up to 1,000 tests per day.
She said that the Lung Center of the Philippines was about to be be given its certification and it was expected to be fully operational by March 30.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines breached 1,000 on Saturday, with 272 new cases, 14 new deaths, and four new recoveries.