Thammasat Opens Laboratory for Quick Testing of COVID-19 to Support Other Hospitals

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Thammasat University has offered laboratory testing in Allied Health Sciences in order to support hospital work, delivering accurate and fast results.

The University is providing resources to help during the national crisis due to COVID-19 and has opened laboratory testing for COVID-19 supporting Thammasat University Hospital and neighboring hospitals. It can provide results in 6 hours.

Assoc.Prof.Dr.Pailawan Satthanon, Director of the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, reveals that due to the outbreak of COVID-19 transmission, Thammasat University, as a people’s university, has put all knowledge and resources to support the government. One of our supports is the molecular diagnosis laboratory, Healthcare Service Center, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences that can be used to test COVID-19 and deliver results in 6 hours. The laboratory is used to support Thammasat University Hospital and other nearby hospitals.

“Originally, Thammasat University Hospital and other hospitals have to send specimens to the central sector which is the Department of Medical Sciences to test. It wastes time as we have to queue up for the testing and wait for the result to be sent back to the hospital. Therefore, it might take up to one day. As a result, the laboratory at the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences gives convenience to the area in Rangsit-Pathum Thani.” said Assoc.Prof.Dr.Pailawan.

The quality and standard of the laboratory at the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences is in the country’s top class. The laboratory has been certified its capacity by the Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Public Health to test for COVID-19. Therefore, if Thammasat University Hospital and other hospitals send in the specimens, the result will be ready in a short period of time. When we can know the test result fast, the treatment’s potential will be better. In the present, we only take a test on specimens sent by hospitals; there is no regulation for individual service tests.

Asst.Prof.Dr.Jeerapong Tanongsaksrikul, Assistant Director of Administration and Head of the molecular diagnosis laboratory, says that the laboratory has been used for Tuberculosis (TB) testing. Tuberculosis disease is more serious than COVID-19, therefore, we can be assured of the laboratory’s standard and potential. Asst.Prof.Dr.Jeerapong also says that the solution for virus testing that the laboratory uses is highly accurate. It can be used to test the virus very fast and only require 3 genes in one tube in order to reduce mistakes.

“We are educational institutions. Most people in the laboratory are professors and medical laboratory scientists that are experienced in testing. Moreover, we are honored by Prof.Ph.D.Yong Phoovorawan, an Expert in CLinic Virology in Thailand, to help advise us. There are also experts from the biosafety association helping ensure the safety. Therefore, this is our confidence in working at Thammasat’s laboratory.” said Asst.Prof.Dr.Jeerapong.

Asst.Prof.Dr.Jeerapong says that Thammasat’s laboratory will maintain negative air pressure that can be found only in educational institutions and large hospitals. Everything in the laboratory will be filtered by the high-level filtration that can filter the smallest particles. Therefore, working in this laboratory, there would be no contamination leaking out of the room. In the first phase, the laboratory can conduct tests for 40-50 samples per day.

Assoc.Prof.Gasinee Witoonchart, Director of Thammasat University, says that Thammasat is capable of performing COVID-19 testing by using Realtime RT-PCR to detect the genetic material of the virus. The test is under the supervision of medical laboratory scientists and talented professors. The molecular diagnosis laboratory of the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences is the biosafety level 2. The laboratory has negative air pressure and standard working procedure. Therefore, we hope that we can support hospitals in neighboring areas more.

The molecular diagnosis laboratory, Healthcare Service Center, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, provides a testing service only for specimens sent by hospitals. There is no testing for individuals available yet. For nearby hospital that would like to send specimens for testing, please contact 02-986-9213-9, 7277 and 7686 during the working day.