The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) in Negros Occidental opened yesterday morning its own Covid-19 molecular laboratory along the corner of 10th and 11th Lacson Streets in Bacolod City, right at the back of St. John’s Institute.
PRC-Negros Occidental Governor Jay Jalandoni said the new facility is the fifth Covid-19 molecular lab in Negros Occidental.
According to Jalandoni, the molecular lab has two “state-of-the-art” testing machines which are capable of handling a total of 1,400 tests in 24 hours.
He said the construction of the facility took some time, pointing out the facility was made with “the utmost safety in mind.”
“It is easy to put up a structure, however, what we made here is we looked at the flow of the people, the samples, and those working in the facility are in a safe environment,” Jalandoni said.
He pointed at the facility’s safety and security features such as having its own dormitory which will house the laboratory’s medical technicians and minimizes the risk of contracting Covid-19.
He explained that the rooms are also designed as negative pressure rooms which vacuums the contaminated air going through filters and UV lights which kills any contaminants in the air before its pumped outside.
As for security, the facility uses facial and thumbprint recognition, meaning outsiders cannot enter the premises unless they are in the main database.
Jalandoni said with the opening of the new facility, they may be able to accommodate the tests being carried out not just in Negros Occidental, but in neighboring Negros Oriental and even Iloilo.
The facility is the second molecular lab in the Visayas, with the first being located in Cebu City. Jalandoni said the construction of the facility was possible through the assistance of Negros Occidental 3rd district Congressman Jose Francisco Benitez and his brother, former 3rd district congressman Alfredo Benitez.
Currently, the fee for getting an individual RT-PCR test at PRC in Bacolod City is at P4,000./DGB, WDJ