File photo from provincial government of Palawan

Palawan’s molecular diagnostic laboratory has started accepting specimen referrals for reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) COVID-19 testing, according to the provincial government.

In a statement released Tuesday for the Capitol by the Provincial Information Office (PIO), it said the development in the Provincial Health Office-Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory (PHO-MDL) came after various medical representatives from Rural Health Unit (RHUs) and hospitals under the management of the provincial government took part in an online orientation to discuss the referral process and specimen collections.

“Tayo po ay nagsagawa ng pre-operational activity which is, ito po ay specimen referral for RT-PCR COVID-19 testing for [the] province of Palawan, para po malaman ng ating mga hospitals, RHUs, at MHOs ang ating magiging proseso at mga gagawin sa pagsisimula po ng ating operasyon,” Cyrus Cecilio Caabay, medical technologist III and acting program manager of the MDL said in the statement.

The molecular laboratory, which was inaugurated on April 20, 2021, is a project initiated by the province through Governor Jose Alvarez and the Department of Health (DOH). It is equipped with biosafety, biosecurity, and other high-technology equipment to ensure the safety of the persons assigned in every room or station.

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It is projected to increase testing capacity for suspected COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as the province continues to see an increase in cases, as well as scale-up detection capabilities.

Meanwhile, the DOH advised the local governments, including Palawan, to strengthen their Prevention, Detection, Isolation, Treatment, and Reintegration (P-D-I-T-R) Strategy in order to curb the current surge of COVID-19 cases.

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