MCIA: World’s First Airport-dedicated COVID-19 PCR Testing Laboratory now begins operation

Mactan-Cebu International Airport now begins the operation of its ‘world’s first airport-dedicated COVID-19 PCR testing laboratory’. This is in compliance with the directive provided by the Department of Transportation that emphasized that “airports must have a dedicated molecular laboratory” to be able to resume international travels.

Last June 11, MCIA announced that they have already received the accreditation – a BSL-2 certification – from the Department of Health (DOH) and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) allowing them to finally implement COVID-19 tests. This makes the airport the very first in the country that is allowed to employ “gold standard” real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) techniques.

MCIA COVID-19 PCR Testing Laboratory

MCIA’s COVID-19 PCR Testing Laboratory is a 400-square meter laboratory designed to accommodate up to 3,000 tests daily. Results will immediately come out after 24 hours making the process faster and more reliable. This is the fourth facility in Cebu that has been accredited to carry out COVID-19 tests – along with DOH in Central Visayas’ compound, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City, and Allegiant Regional Care Hospital in Lapu-lapu City.

After a swab sample is taken and brought to the onsite laboratory of MCIA, OFWs and seafarers will be housed in the hotels designated as quarantine facilities by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Department of Tourism. There they will wait for the results and clearance.

Not only that this laboratory will augment the government’s testing capacity, this will also fast track the processing of the arrival of OFWs and seafarers; thereby decongesting the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

This ambitious project as made possible through the dedication of Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority with the help of GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC). Both worked together in order to manage and provide medical staff to the laboratory.

MCIAA General Manager and CEO Atty. Steve Dicdican emphasized that the airport won’t profit a single cent from the laboratory because they have envisioned this project as their contribution to the government’s efforts of bringing home those stranded kababayans at a minimal cost and so as to help to jumpstart the economy of the country.

All photos from Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority’s Facebook page.