By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental’s second molecular laboratory located at the Valladolid District Hospital in the town of Valladolid has officially opened yesterday morning.
Provincial administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz said Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson attended the inauguration alongside Valladolid Mayor Enrique Miravalles, La Carlota City Mayor Rex Jalando-on and Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital (TLJPH) chief, Dr. Mary Ann Maestral.
Diaz said all reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test samples taken in the southern part of the province are now directed to use the Valladolid District Hospital, instead of the TLJPH in Silay City.
Collection time at the Valladolid District Hospital is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Diaz said for private individuals the molecular lab will charge a fee, while contact tracing coming from local government units in the province will be for free.
With the operation of the new molecular laboratory, it is expected that the waiting time of RT-PCR test results should go down to 24 hours.
The laboratory uses only a minimum number of personnel as most of the work is robotic, which also eliminates the risk of laboratory workers being exposed to the virus.
The testing capacity is expected to be around 1,000 specimens daily./DGB, WDJ