PH Army activates own Covid-19 molecular lab

The Philippine Army (PA) on July 28, 2020, launched its own molecular laboratory which will be used to test troops for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and other infectious diseases.

COVID-19 MOLECULAR LAB. Army commander, Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay (right), and DOH Assistant Secretary Nestor Santiago (in blue vest), lead the launching of the Army’s Covid-19 molecular laboratory in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on Tuesday (July 28, 2020). The laboratory aims to provide quality and accurate health care services related to emerging infectious diseases to Army personnel, military dependents, civilian employees, and other authorized civilians in the Army. (Photo courtesy of the Army Chief Public Affairs Office)

Army commander, Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, and Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary Nestor Santiago led the ceremony at the PA headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

The PA Molecular Laboratory aims to provide quality and accurate health care services related to emerging infectious diseases to Army personnel, military dependents, civilian human resource, and other authorized civilians in the Army.

“We deem it necessary to set up this testing facility so we could preserve our force. With 12,000 Army personnel currently involved in Covid-19 response operations and more committed to security operations, we want to take care of our own so we could focus on accomplishing various critical missions,” Gapay said in a statement.

In a message to reporters, Col. Ramon Zagala, PA spokesperson, said they expect the DOH’s accreditation for the facility, which will cater mostly to Covid-19 testing, to be released next week.

“The accreditation is under process and we expect it will be running by next week. It is for Army personnel, civilian human resources, and dependents for now. Swabs will be done at the Army hospital. Samples will be brought to the lab. The lab can do 80 tests every eight hours,” he added. (Priam Nepomuceno, PNA)