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Marikina’s COVID-19 lab must retake proficiency test for accreditation —DOH

Marikina City’s COVID-19 testing center still needs to retake a proficiency test in order to become a certified sub-national laboratory, a health official said on Sunday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that the proficiency test is Stage 4 of 5 in the laboratory accreditation process, where Marikina must test five positive samples as confirmed by Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

“Dahil hindi pa po natin naipapasa ang Marikina laboratory sa unang panel na ginagawa nila, kailangan lang nila i-retake ito ulit bago sila mabigyan ng ating certification,” she said at a virtual press briefing.

Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine showed that the samples sent to them were contaminated when they conducted the proficiency test last week. 

The mayor said this meant that their PCR machine was 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.

Vergeire said the Department of Health (DOH) continues to provide technical assistance to the Marikina City government and other facilities applying for accreditation.

The Philippine Genome Center was the latest institution to become certified, bringing the total number of testing centers nationwide to 18. 

Data from the DOH as of Friday show that over 72,000 people have so far been tested for COVID-19, 87.6 percent of whom turned out negative while 12.3 percent were positive.

The Philippines has recorded 7,579 COVID-19 cases with 862 recoveries and 501 deaths as of Sunday afternoon. — LA, GMA News