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Bicol Medical Center begins COVID-19 testing

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The Bicol Medical Center (BMC) in Naga City has begun COVID-19 testing today via Rapid PCR Testing or GeneXpert testing after receiving its License to Operate from the Health Facility and Services Regulatory Bureau yesterday.

The BMC previously received its Certification from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) after undergoing proficiency and competency assessment.

Per guidelines released by the Department of Health Center for Health Development-Bicol, the BMC testing laboratory will cater to the provinces of Camarines Sur including Naga City and Camarines Norte.

“Testing will be done from Tuesday to Sunday from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM including holidays. Monday is scheduled for decontamination of the laboratory,” said the DOH-CHD said..

“Cut-off time for receiving specimens from Camarines Sur including Naga City is at 9:00 AM while from Camarines Norte is at 12:00 NN. Samples received beyond cut-off time will be processed the following day,” it added.

Meanwhile, due to the limited capacity, only 40 samples can be tested per day on its 12-hour daily operation using the 4-placer GeneXpert Testing Machine. Thus, both Camarines Sur and Naga City are allotted 15 slots each, while Camarines Norte is allotted 10 slots.

“The province/city can send more than their allocated slots but these will be run on the following day,” said the DOH.

“Facilities are advised to coordinate with the Bicol Medical Center Hospital Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit and Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit before sending their samples to the BMC testing laboratory,” it added.