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The Philippines now has 21 LGU-run RT-PCR laboratories –DILG

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Saturday announced that the Philippines now had 21 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratories run by local government units.

“Before we only had Marikina City with its own LGU-run RT-PCR laboratory," Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

"Now we have 21 all over the country and more are in the pipeline. I’m proud of these LGUs for passing the stringent DOH licensing procedure,” he added.

The DILG said that all laboratories passed the 5-stage DOH criteria before they were given certifications for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing.

Given that COVID-19 was easily spread through community transmissions, having this many LGU-run testing labs was a welcome development.

“Kaya magandang balita po ito na pinapalakas ng ating mga lokal na pamahalaan ang kanilang kapasidad upang matugunan ang pangangailangan ng taumbayan na matiyak sa kanilang komunidad kung sinu-sino ang dapat matest, mabigyan ng atensyong medikal o i-isolate,” he said.

The secretary said that 14 of the laboratories are in Luzon, three are in the Visayas, and four are in Mindanao. Meanwhile, there are currently 130 licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories in the country.

“If we remember, noong March, lahat ng tests natin ay puwede lang magawa sa RITM. Nasa 400 tests lang ang nagagawa kada araw,” Año said.

“Now, we are able to conduct around more than 30,000+ tests daily. This is a significant achievement and the LGUs are a big part of this,” he added.

Data from the DOH showed that the Philippines has tested a total of 3,337,853 million individuals.

“This is of course a welcome development to have our LGUs to actively seek out applications to set up their own testing laboratories in their respective jurisdictions,” DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said.

The country had 301,256 total COVID-19 cases with 232,906 recoveries and 5,284 fatalities.  — DVM, GMA News