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Number of COVID-19 testing centers rises to 31 as 29th PCR facility gets nod


The number of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing centers for the coronavirus disease 2019 climbed to 29 on Thursday after the Department of Health (DOH) announced that one more laboratory received accreditation, bringing the total number of COVID-19 testing facilities in the Philippines to 31.

The PCR laboratory of the Divine Word Hospital in Tacloban was the latest to be licensed, according to a DOH report.

The two other accredited facilities are GeneXpert laboratories.

The DOH previously explained that PCR machines are the “gold standard” in COVID-19 testing due to the reliability of their results.

On the other hand, GeneXpert machines, which were intended to detect tuberculosis, can yield results faster than PCR machines. 

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said 182,412 people had been tested for COVID-19 as of Wednesday, 91 percent of whom were negative while 9 percent tested positive.

The country’s testing centers also conducted 9,465 tests on Wednesday, the highest number of daily tests conducted so far since the Philippines met its April 30 goal of 8,000 tests per day on May 10. 

However, deputy chief implementer of the COVID-19 action plan Vince Dizon earlier said there is still a backlog of 7,000 tests that need to be processed. 

The Philippines has logged 11,876 cases with 2,337 recoveries and 790 deaths as of Thursday afternoon. — Julia Mari Ornedo/BM, GMA News

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