World’s 1st airport PCR testing lab for COVID-19 starts operations in Mactan-Cebu, Philippines

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Mactan-Cebu PCR testing lab COVID-19
Mactan-Cebu International Airport’s own PCR testing and laboratory turn out results after 24 hours, the fastest time in the country. Photo from MCIAA.

The world’s first airport with PCR testing and molecular laboratory for COVID-19 has started operations at Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in the Philippines.

The internationally-awarded MCIA, the first plastics-free airport in the country, marks another pioneering project for the Philippines as it launched its COVID-19 testing facilities on July 11, 2020.

Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) together with the GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) began operations in compliance with the Department of Transportation directive for airports to have a dedicated molecular laboratory.

MCIA announced that its 400-sqm. laboratory is designed to process 1,500 to 3,000 tests per day with test results available after 24 hours, the shortest time in the country to release swab test results.

It holds a BSL-2 certification from the Department of Health (DOH) and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

MCIAA General Manager and CEO Atty. Steve Dicdican said the airport initiated moves to set up the laboratory to allow the safe resumption of operations.

“When it became clear that testing capability was going to be a prerequisite for the resumption of international travel, we immediately embarked on the ambitious project of putting up the fastest built and accredited molecular laboratory with the capability to do mass testing and generate results in the quickest possible time,” Dicdican said.

The MCIAA official added, “It should be noted that the airport will not profit a single cent from the laboratory because we envisioned this to be our contribution to the government’s effort to bring home our stranded kababayans at minimal cost to them and the government and to jumpstarting our economy.”

The first Philippine-made COVID-19 PCR Test Kit recently released its second version with the approval of the Food And Drug Administration.

SEND CHEERS to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport team for ensuring the safe reopening of its facilities with its dedicated airport testing and laboratory while marking a world’s first for the Philippines!

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