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DOH: Philippines now has 108 licensed labs for COVID-19 testing

There are now 108 laboratories nationwide licensed to conduct independent testing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after six more received accreditation, the Department of Health (DOH) said Sunday.

In its daily COVID-19 report, the DOH said the country now has 81 accredited polymerase chain reaction (PCR) facilities and 27 GeneXpert laboratories.

The latest PCR laboratories to be certified were those of the Dagupan Doctors Villaflor Memorial Hospital, Bulacan Medical Center, and Philippine Red Cross-Negros Occidental Molecular Laboratory.

The latest GeneXpert laboratories to be licensed were the Butuan Medical Center, Ilocos Training Regional Medical Center, and Central Luzon Doctor’s Hospital.

There are also 88 other laboratories undergoing the five-step accreditation process, 70 or 80 percent of which are already on Stage 3 or above.

The licensed laboratories have performed 2,035,688 tests as of August 15, with 196,727 individuals testing positive for a positivity rate of 10.3 percent.

Meanwhile, an average of 30,963 samples were processed by 100 laboratories per day in the past week, 26,629 of which came out positive for COVID-19 for a weekly positivity rate of 13.3 percent.

The World Health Organization’s benchmark for positivity rate is less than 5 percent.

The Philippines has logged 161,253 COVID-19 cases with 112,586 recoveries and 2,665 deaths as of Sunday afternoon. — Julia Mari Ornedo/BM, GMA News