In spite of the on-going enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-OneLab member laboratories are providing crucial functions and playing very important roles in the war against COVID 19.
OneLab is a network of laboratories aimed at ensuring availability and broadening public access to testing and calibration services. It provides relevant and efficient laboratory services for industries, research institutions, other government and non-government sectors, and the general public.
OneLab facilities include:
- 16 DOST Regional Standard and Testing Laboratories (RSTL)
- 6 DOST Research and Development Institute (RDI) laboratories
- 4 government agencies
- 19 private local laboratories
- 8 international laboratories as members.
OneLab laboratories stepped-up to the plate to offer critical laboratory services due to a surge of companies that went into the production of alcohol. The labs provided free testing of disinfectants and alcohols to determine its quality and purity before distribution to frontline institutions and personnel by the LGUs and private companies.
Moreover, they assisted their respective LGUs in linking to laboratory suppliers for disinfectants and PPEs such as face masks and gloves.
They also provided awareness campaign to the public, DOST RSTLs and RDIs disseminated information through their respective official Facebook page on the basic protective measures against COVID-19 such as proper handwashing, use of disinfectant, gloves, and face masks as well as other related information to help flatten the curve of the pandemic.
At the same time, on-going material and product testing are also being conducted by lab staff of the Philippine Textile Research Institute for its REwear (Reusable, Washable, and Rewearable) facemasks again to be distributed for free to frontliners.
To offset the shortage and extend the use of PPEs, facemask and lab gowns and other items, are being sterilized through dose mapping and irradiation by the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute.
Laboratory staff demonstrated their Bayanihan spirit, sourced together from their laboratory supply, prepared and distributed approximately 160L of 70% ethyl alcohol, surgical masks, and nitrile gloves to several hospitals in the country.
In response and support for the call of mass testing the RT-PCR machine of ITDI, FNRI, DOST CALABARZON, and DOST XI were lent to COVID referral hospitals and RITM.
The following DOST laboratories remain open to serve the immediate needs of their customers:
- DOST XII Satellite Laboratory in General Santos City to accommodate the microbiological testing needs of the tuna canneries in the area, DOST II to provide road tanker calibration and the Pharmacology and Toxicology section of Industrial Technology Development Institute to maintain the laboratory animals being used for research by the Institute.
- Despite the temporary suspension of services of several laboratories, the OneLab IT referral system is running and functional allowing for referral of samples to member-laboratories that are open. In fact, DOST IX referred eight (8) coffee samples for microanalysis to Intertek Philippines and two (2) samples for nutritional fact analysis are scheduled to be sent to the same laboratory.
- Among the 31 Non-DOST member-laboratories, the following are open to serve its customers, Philippine Institute of Pure and Applied Chemistry (PIPAC), National Reference Laboratory (NRL), Intertek Testing Services Philippines, Inc.; SGS Philippines, Inc.; Optimal Laboratories, Inc., Analytical Solutions & Technical Services (ASTS), Negros Prawn Producers Cooperative (NPPC), Jefcor Laboratories.
- In the international front, the following OneLab members, Australian Food Microbiology-Australia, Geoscience Testing Laboratory–UAE, SGS Thailand, and Cordina Chicken Farms-Australia, are categorized under essential services hence they remain fully operational. Looking ahead, we, the OneLab will continue to be working together with our partner organizations to defeat COVID-19 as one. We heal as one!
DOST has also partnered with various institutions to address the COVID-19 pandemic, among them, working with UP National Institutes of Health to produce the first Philippine COVID 19 Test Kit, with UP Manila and UP Diliman to develop the RXBox vital signs monitor, among many other projects.
SEND CHEERS in the comments below to DOST ONELab network for helping in the fight against COVID-19!
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