After almost a month of undergoing corrective maintenance, the COVID-19 testing laboratory of the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH) on Wednesday started partial operations.
According to GCGMH spokesperson Vincent Sarigumba, their molecular lab started to process swab samples collected from admitted patients of GCGMH, which is the province’s main COVID-19 referral facility and only tertiary level hospital.
The GCGMH’s molecular lab, which previously handled majority of the Bohol’s COVID-19 testing and the bigger of only two labs in the province, suspended operations starting June 29 when its negative-pressure ventilation system bogged down.
Sarigumba said they will still monitor the performance of the system to determine if the laboratory can handle full-scale operations.
“At least for now, ang atoang in-patient samples sa lang ang atong e-process pero og ugaling tagaan ta og maayong obserbatsyon sa atoang negative-pressure system, basin makabalik na ta by the end of the week na modawat na to og sa out patient,” said Sarigumba.
The hospital official explained that maintenance operations were delayed after technicians from Davao who were supposed to fix the ventilation system tested positive for COVID-19.
They had to undergo 14-day quarantine before starting maintenance work which lasted for over a week.
During the almost month-long suspension of the GCGMH lab’s operations, swab samples were sent to the province’s containerized laboratory and laboratories in Cebu, causing delays in the turnaround of COVID-19 test results.
According to Sarigumba, equipment of the molecular lab which was inaugurated in August last year are all brand new.
However, it was the second time that the facility’s negative-pressure ventilation system underwent corrective maintenance as the equipment also bogged down in October last year leading to the lab’s temporary closure.
Sarigumba explained that the negative-pressure system ensures that potentially contaminated air or other dangerous particles from inside the lab will not flow outside into non-contaminated areas. (R. Tutas)