Central Luzon's third COVID-19 testing facility now operational

Central Luzon's third COVID-19 testing facility now operational

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, June 18 (PIA) — Molecular Pathology Laboratory of GreenCity Medical Center (GMC) becomes the third coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing facility in Central Luzon after being given with a License to Operate by Department of Health (DOH).

It is the first such facility in the region to be run by a private hospital. The other two are Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital’s Pandemic Sub-national Reference Laboratory and the 1Bataan-Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) Laboratory.

City of San Fernando Mayor Edwin Santiago said the public-private collaboration is pursued for the timely diagnosis of COVID-19 by RT-PCR.

“Once we have identified those individuals (through testing), we can now isolate them, find their contacts and treat them. That is how we box in the virus here in the city,” Santiago said.

The mayor also underscored the importance of testing in the city’s transition to the new normal.

“We all want to go back to business, back to classes, and to our normal lives. But, we cannot safely go to the new normal unless we first facilitate testing,” he added.

City Health Office Officer-In-Charge Renely Tungol explained that the city will not be doing mass testing but will be following the guidelines of DOH for expanded targeted testing.

Per DOH, prioritized for testing include people under the subgroups A (patients or healthcare workers with severe/critical symptoms, and relevant history of travel/contact) and B (patients or healthcare workers with mild symptoms, relevant history of travel/contact, and considered vulnerable).

The initial batch, consisting of 158 frontliners, underwent nasal swab testing last June 15. The specimens were delivered to GMC which released the results after two days. All 158 frontliners tested negative.

For her part, GMC President and Chief Executive Officer Hazel Penafiel expressed her gratitude to the city government and committed to embrace the challenges as ancillary of San Fernando in winning the battle against COVID-19.

“At the time of pandemic, when some hospitals close their doors and some doctors and frontliners won’t receive patients, GreenCity is resolute to its stand–to make our medical services available for the public, even to the most severe cases of COVID-19 infection,” she said. (CLJD-PIA 3)