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Before the establishment of the molecular laboratory, all specimens from MMMH&MC for Covid-19 testing were forwarded to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Metro Manila or to the Baguio General Hospital Medical Center.

The hospital had to wait for a span of three days for the test results.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sherryl Racelis, MMMH&MC epidemiologist, said the hospital's molecular laboratory has now increased its testing capacity to 80 specimens per day.

She said a testing strategy should be followed in line with DOH guidelines.

“We are currently laying down a plan mostly focusing on a percentage scheme to ensure equal testing coverage of groups in Ilocos Norte and other neighboring provinces and to maximize resources primarily the testing kits,” Racelis said.

In the meantime, the molecular laboratory shall run Covid-19 tests for specimens directly referred by municipal and provincial health offices.

With this development, Otayza vowed to strengthen its cooperation with the province and other non-government sectors amid the continued threat of the viral disease.

“MMMH&MC is full with gratitude for the support and assistance we received not only from our partners in the government but also those in the private sectors as they showed us that we will survive this pandemic together,” she added.

As of this writing, Ilocos Norte has one confirmed Covid-19 positive case. (PNA