The two primary RT-PCR testing machines in Puerto Princesa City are currently inoperable and are undergoing repairs, according to Dr. Dean Palanca of the city’s Incident Management Team (IMT).

In a live briefing on Monday, he said that the GeneXpert laboratory in the Ospital ng Palawan (ONP) has unspecified damage to one of the laboratory’s structures.

“Right now, yong dalawang facilities natin na gumagawa ng RT-PCR test ay hindi gumagana. Sa ONP, may isang structure ng kanilang RT-PCR laboratory ay kailangan ikumpuni. Ongoing ang pagkukumpuni noon,” he said.

Back in November 2021, the GeneXpert machine also sustained damage due to a power outage. Meanwhile, the city’s molecular and diagnostic laboratory is also unavailable for testing due to damage sustained by the facility due to Typhoon “Odette.”

“Ngayon dito sa molecular lab ng Puerto Princesa, noong dumating ang malakas na bagyo, nasira ang exhaust chimney, bumagsak yon. Inaayos yan ngayong first week of January, at hopefully within one to two weeks maaayos din yang structure,” he added.

Palawan News sought the comment of the ONP management to ask about estimated repair dates, but no one has responded to queries as of press time.

The IMT currently uses antigen testing to test suspect and probable COVID-19 cases.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.