BMC’s GeneXpert Laboratory marks its first anniversary

A year ago, the Bicol Medical Center became one of the DOH’s COVID-19 Testing Centers because of its SARS-CoV-2 Testing Laboratory (Cartridge Based Polymerase Chain Reaction). BMC follows the DOH Memorandum Order No. 2020-0376, which stipulates the prioritization of COVID-19 Testing using Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 Cartridges.

Photo: Courtesy of Department of Laboratories

BACKGROUND

As part of the continuous efforts to increase the national laboratory capacity to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the Department of Health has augmented the use of GeneXpert® machines for COVID-19 testing. With the manufacturer's current limited ability to produce enough supplies to cope with the increasing worldwide demand, the Department of Health has opted to rationalize the allocation of Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2 cartridges nationwide to ensure that the more vulnerable patients and at-risk individuals are prioritized for access.

GENERAL GUIDELINES

The following DOH-Licensed COVID-19 Testing Laboratories are the priority recipients of the Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2 cartridges:

1. In affected regions, provinces, or cities without access to DOH-licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories with real-time Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (f(RT-PCR) but with access to DOH-licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories with Rapid PCR (GeneXpert).

2. In affected regions, provinces, or cities with access to both DOH-licensed COVID19 testing laboratories with rRT-PCR and those with Rapid PCR (GeneXpert), the use of Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2 shall be allowed for patients in emergency cases only

 

Photo: Courtesy of Department of Laboratories

SPECIFIC GUIDELINE

For regions, provinces, or cities with access to both DOH-licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories with rRT-PCR and those with Rapid PCR (GeneXpert), the availing of Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2 cartridges shall be prioritized for patients with emergencies or life-threatening conditions to facilitate immediate diagnosis of COVID-19 disease and necessary treatment.

TESTING DATA

As of May 27, 2020 - May 27, 2021
TOTAL TESTEDPOSITIVE CASES DETECTED
6,7981,282

 

Photo: Courtesy of Department of Laboratories

 

Kudos to the following swabbers and testers:

Angelika Mae P. Bichara, RMT

Marianne A. Bojador, RMT

Timothy M. Buitizon, RMT

Princess Jastine SJ. Calingacion, RMT

Herbert P. Raytana, RMT

Kimberly M. Sabeniano, RMT

Kathleen V. Santiago, RMT

Jonalin Joy A. Tino, RMT

 

The following are the new batch of swabbers who started May 1 up to present to replace the original swabbers and testers in preparation for the operation of the Molecular Laboratory soon.

Arnulfo DC. Opiniano Jr., RMT

Algie B. Ominga, RMT

Robert Martin A. Padilla, RMT

Dhen Joseph C. San Agustin, RMT

John Raymond L. Abiog, RMT

Ian Emmanuel A. Ilano, RMT

 

The above-mentioned staff are away from home as they are in-house-on-duty continuously for 15 days and stays at the outgoing staff room awaiting their turn for swabbing before going home. The last exposure to positive cases is noted and they are swabbed 5-7 days after last exposure to be sure they are negative as they go home to their families.

 

The COVID-19 Testing Laboratory is under the supervision of the following:

Head – Dr. Raymundo B. Ibarrientos

Cluster Supervisor – Maria Luisa Graza-Camposano, RMT, MSPH, CBO

Section Head – Mary Elaine D. Tolidanes, RMT

Analysts: Sheryl C. Brutas, RMT

Monaleen L. Lavadia, RMT

Encoder: Jumichelle M. Taday, RMT

 

Thank you for the support of the following:

DOH ASEC Dr. Nestor A. Santiago

DOH-CHD V through the leadership of Regional Director, Dr. Ernie V. Vera

Medical Center Chief ll – Dr. Francisco DJ. Sales

Chief of Medical Professional Staff ll – Dr. Mary Jane Guazon Uy

Infectious Disease Consultant – Dr. Jose Manuel T. Rañola lll

Chairman Department of Pathology and Laboratories – Dr. Heriberto B. Fornoles

Clinical Pathologist - Dr. Suzette Angeli I. Babagay

Chief Medical Technologist – Jesus Giovanni A. Dilanco, RMT, MSPH