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Philippines’ COVID-19 testing centers now 15 – Galvez

The number of institutions that have been certified to conduct independent COVID-19 testing has climbed to 15, the head of the government’s COVID-19 response announced Sunday.

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the latest institutions to receive accreditation from the Department of Health (DOH) were the St. Luke's Medical Center Quezon City, V. Luna Hospital, The Medical City, Makati Medical Center, and the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory.

“Ang mga pasilidad na ito ay makakatulong upang mapabilis at mapalawak ang ating kakayanan na makapag-test at mag-identify ng COVID-19 patients upang sila ay mabigyan ng karampatang medical treatment,” he said at a virtual press briefing.

Earlier on Sunday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said 28 institutions were undergoing the DOH’s laboratory certification process, while 37 others had also expressed an interest in accreditation.

“Kapag certified na po, inaasahang meron silang learning curve kung kaya’t hindi po ibig sabihin na libo-libong test na agad ang kanilang kayang gawin,” she explained.

The online COVID-19 tracker of the DOH showed that the first 10 laboratories to be certified have already tested 33,814 individuals, 85.4 percent of whom tested negative and 14.5 percent were positive.

The total number of tests conducted, meanwhile, was 38,640.

As of Sunday afternoon, the Philippines recorded 4,648 COVID-19 cases with 297 deaths and 197 recoveries. — DVM, GMA News