DOST lends qRT-PCR units to COVID-19 testing labs


Transfer of RT-PCR units from DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute to RITM

Transfer of RT-PCR units from MSI Dr. Conaco Team and PCHRD to San Lazaro

To increase the country’s COVID-19 testing capacity, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) machines, a crucial technology for detecting viral infections, are being lent and distributed to various testing laboratories as part of the Department of Science and Technology's initiatives to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Prior to the Department of Health’s request to borrow qRT-PCRs, DOST,  its attached agencies and several Universities with DOST-funded projects have already deployed units  that matched specific requirements for COVID-19 testing to the following laboratory facilities:  Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine Genome Center, Davao Regional Medical Center, and Western Visayas Medical Center.

Transfer of RT-PCR units from Dr. Sevilla's team at University of Sto. Tomas to Baguio General Hospital aided by Dr. Dharmatov Albano. DOH-CAR and Lifeline Diagnostics Supplies Inc. for the dismantling and re-installation at BGHMC.

Transfer of RT-PCR units from DOST-Industry Technology Development Institute to RITM

Additional units of qRT-PCRs were lent and transferred to the following laboratories: Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Baguio General Hospital and  Medical Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, and San Lazaro Hospital. 

The said qRT-PCRs are originally being used for research and development projects of DOST-attached agencies and some Universities. The machines are lent by the Department through the cooperation of different proponents and institutions supported by DOST, with assistance from its Research and Development Councils and select regional offices.

By using the resources we currently have, we are adding value to the laboratories’ existing operations. We at the science community will always find means to assist our healthcare workers with necessary tools in this battle with the virus,” said Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).

The qRT-PCR machine, which is currently the most widely used method for detecting coronavirus, is essential as it amplifies the viral RNA from swab samples taken from suspected patients.

The distribution of qRT-PCRs is based upon the assessment and request from the DOH. The Department plans to focus future R&D initiatives on COVID-19 programs and pandemic information dissemination projects.