APMC personnel to undergo training on COVID-19 laboratory testing

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 22 June) – Four personnel of the Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC) in Marawi City will undergo a one-day proficiency training on Tuesday, June 23, in handling the Genexpert Express machine.

Dr. Shalimar Rakiin, APMC chief, said that experts from the Department of Health’s (DOH) Research Institute on Tropical Medicine will conduct the training at the APMC laboratory.

“Once they pass the proficiency training, the DOH will issue a license to operate the testing laboratory to help us fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic,” she told MindaNews.

Rakiin said the laboratory can conduct at least 32 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR tests per day.

Dr. Ash Mapandi of the APMC Pathology and Laboratory Department was designated to head the laboratory.

Dr. Shalimar Rakiin (right), chief of the Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City, and Dr. Ash Mapandi, view the newly-installed Genexpert Express machine at the laboratory inside the hospital. Photo courtesy of APMC

Rakiin said the laboratory will employ a powered air-purifying respirator to safeguard workers from air contamination.

She said the DOH central office has already inspected the laboratory set up on June 20, where the Genexpert Machine was installed for biomolecular testing.

Sheila Divnani -Ganda , focal person for the Sub-Task Force on the Management  of Locally-Stranded Individuals (LSIs) and Returning  Overseas Filipinos, said that Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr. earlier  approved a P10 million support fund for the installation of the testing laboratory.

“The province also initially procured at least 5,000 sets of rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) kits from the United States and another 5,000 additional sets per the recommendation of the DOH,” she said.

As of June 21, the province has recorded the arrival of 2,554 LSIs who were subjected to the RDT.

So far, Lanao del Sur has recorded 56 confirmed COVID-19 cases.