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Marikina testing lab yet to get DOH nod

Marikina has yet to get final approval from the Department of Health as an accredited testing laboratory after its  polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine read “contaminated” samples. 

According to a 24 Oras report by Maki Pulido on Wednesday, the proficiency test is the last step that applicants must complete to become a certified COVID-19 testing laboratory.

In this test, Marikina’s PCR machine must process proficiency test panels or “unknown” samples that were sent by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), the country’s national reference laboratory and biggest COVID-19 testing center.

The results of the testing done by the city’s laboratory, whether positive or negative for COVID-19, must be identical to the ones obtained by the RITM.

However, Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said their PCR machines showed that the samples sent to them were contaminated.

“‘Yung nakuha naming specimen, contaminated. Puwedeng gano’n or puwedeng may contaminants do’n sa environment,” he said.

The mayor underscored that this result means that their PCR machines are functioning properly.

“Ibig sabihin accurate siya e, dahil ‘yung contamination na-detect niya e, hindi siya naglabas ng negative or positive result e. Ang analysis niya, pinakita do’n na-detect na merong contamination,” he explained.

The proficiency test was performed twice on Tuesday and repeated on Wednesday.

As the city’s technicians deal with the issue on testing, the local government has begun crafting plans to establish a quarantine facility behind the Amang Rodriguez Hospital.

Authorities are also eyeing the use of Manila HealthTek Inc.’s laboratory for COVID-19 testing.

The Marikina-based company produces the test kits that were developed by the University of the Philippines. —Julia Mari Ornedo/LDF, GMA News