The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases are continuously rising. As of writing, we have a total number of 3,018 cases with 52 recoveries and 136 deaths. More are getting worried and concerned as the lack of testing is clearly a factor in early detection and admission of PUIs and PUMs.
It seems that the government has finally heard our cries for mass testing and more COVID-19 testing centers. On April 2, the chief implementer of the national action policy against the virus, Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., announced that the government will start conducting mass testing on April 14. Today, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles announced that eight facilities in the country are now capable of conducting COVID-19 tests:
Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
Location: 9002 Research Drive, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila, 1781
RITM is the primary center for COVID-19 testing in the country. It is the National Reference Laboratory for emerging and re-emerging infectious and tropical diseases, where samples collected from PUIs nationwide are brought. With the lack of testing kits, the institution used to only be able to test 300 samples a day. However, on March 10, its Director Celia Carlos announced a big improvement in testing. They are now able to process 900 to 1,000 tests per day and results are released within 48 to 72 hours.
San Lazaro Hospital
Location: Quiricada St, Santa Cruz, Manila, 1003
San Lazaro Hospital is the country’s Special National Hospital Medical Center for Infectious Diseases. The whole nation was on edge when a suspected COVID-19 patient died of pneumonia in San Lazaro Hospital on January 29. And just the next day, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Philippines was admitted to the hospital. It was followed by another two. The hospital is currently taking care of 21 patients, making it the 9th most hospital with confirmed cases. On a lighter note, the hospital was able to see 8 recoveries — 3 men and 5 women.
Lung Center of the Philippines
Location: Quezon Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City 1100
Lung Center of the Philippines is the country’s tertiary medical center for thoracic and respiratory surgical conditions. On March 31, the Department of Health announced that LCP will be opened for testing, which will add to the rapid detection of possible confirmed patients.
University of the Philippines — National Institutes of Health
Location: College of Medicine Annex-2, 623 Pedro Gil St, Ermina Manila, 1000
The University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health was created in 1996 to serve as the home of various research and extension units that specialize in health and socio-biomedical concerns. UP has been very proactive in regards to helping contain the virus. A group of their scientists and researchers have developed a cheap COVID-19 testing kit, which is 6 times cheaper than those bought abroad. According to DOST, 120,000 of U.P.’s testing kits will be available starting Saturday.
Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center
Location: Baguio General Hospital Driveway, Baguio, Benguet
People from Northern Luzon don’t have to travel far anymore. On March 27, DOH announced that it released 5,000 testing kits new subnational laboratories including Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.
Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center
Location: B. Rodriguez Street, Sambag II, Cebu City 6000 Cebu
Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center was the first hospital in Visayas that was given the go-signal for COVID-19 testing. There are approximately 7 million people in Visayas are a million of them are in Cebu City — mass testing is truly needed to prevent the virus from spreading in this region. As of writing, over 40,000 testing kits have arrived in Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, which are for rolling out across Visayas.
Western Visayas Medical Center
Location: Mandurriao, Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo
Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo is the second COVID-19 testing center in Visayas. They have received 5,000 testing kits as well and will have more from the 40,000 kits from Cebu. According to the head of the Infectious Disease Section of DOH-Region VI Jane Juanico, they are expecting a turnover of between 24 to 72 hours in receiving test results per batch. She also added that one kit can test up to 10 samples.
Southern Philippines Medical Center
Location: J.P. Laurel Ave, Bajada, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur
COVID-19 has started to spread in Mindanao, which is why Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) is such a crucial hospital. As of this writing, there are 50 cases in Davao City alone, with 6 deaths and 5 recoveries. Due to this, the city has also imposed enhanced community quarantine. These patients are currently admitted at the SPMC, which is now a subnational testing center.
Stay informed and stay indoors!