The Quezon City government is set to get another boost in its fight against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) with the unveiling of its own molecular laboratory today (Saturday) in Barangay Teachers Village East.

The City Health Department (CHD) has already submitted the proficiency test to the Department of Health (DOH) for the final accreditation.

Once the final accreditation is issued by the DOH, the molecular laboratory can start processing samples. It has the capacity to process between 600 to 1,000 samples a day with a turnaround time of one to two days.

“Ngayong may sarili na tayong molecular laboratory, mas mabilis na nating makukuha ang resulta ng mga samples,” said Mayor Joy Belmonte, adding that the laboratory is dedicated to supporting the CHD in its functions.

“Dahil mabilis na ang labas ng resulta, mas maagap na ang ating pagkilos upang hindi na kumalat pa ang virus sa mga komunidad,” she added.

The molecular laboratory will be housed in a three-storey building, which also has an area for data encoding, conference rooms and sleeping quarters for the 20 workers who will be assigned by the CHD to man the facility.

The Mayor thanked the city government’s private partners — major sponsor Megaworld, and other donors Ayala Foundation, Boysen and Solaire – for their assistance to make the molecular laboratory a reality.

“Kung hindi sa tulong ng ating mga katuwang sa pribadong sektor, mananatiling pangarap na lang itong molecular laboratory,” said Belmonte.

According to Joseph Juico, QC COVID-19 task force head, the molecular laboratory is considered as a long-term valuable investment for the city as it can be used to identify and process other infectious diseases and for research purposes.

“The laboratory has the ability to identify and process other diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis, cancer, and tuberculosis, among others,” said Juico.

The molecular laboratory can help lessen the city government’s expenses as it will no longer pay private hospitals and laboratories for the tests.