Governor Arthur Yap on Monday said Bohol province’s determination to operate a molecular laboratory that can conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is halfway to getting the nod.
“According to reports I received, we are 50 percent away,” Yap said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency.
The National Task Force against Covid-19 sent here a team on Friday to evaluate Bohol’s qualification to operate a molecular laboratory for PCR testing on Covid-19.
Yap said the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH), a level-3 government-run hospital, bids to qualify as a molecular laboratory in Bohol.
Aside from Gallares Hospital, Yap said the provincial government is also planning to establish its own laboratory near the airport in Panglao.
Representatives and officials from the National Task Force against Covid-19, Department of Health (DOH), World Health Organization (WHO), and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) have already inspected the Gallares medical facility.
The team included Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO Vivencio Dizon, who serves as deputy chief implementer on government approaches against Covid-19, Rachel Fermo, Fiel dela Cruz, Ava Sy, Engr. Archie Reyes and Dr. Jinho Shin.
They arrived in Bohol through a chartered flight that landed at the Bohol-Panglao International Airport Friday morning. They proceeded to GCGMH here, a level-3 hospital which bids for accreditation to operate a molecular laboratory.
Yap received the information about Dizon’s visit from National Task Force Against Covid-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr.
He quoted Galvez as saying that this is “in line with the concerted efforts of the government to prevent and mitigate the spread of Covid-19 and in strengthening our healthcare system in different parts of the country”.
“Moving forward, we in Bohol must have our own polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing capability. We cannot be dependent on Cebu. We have been working on a PCR laboratory at the Gallares Hospital for the past month and last night, I have received a letter from Sec. Carlito Galvez informing me that they are sending a team to inspect the Gallares Hospital,” Yap said.
The governor also said that “to date, I have as yet no news of the second PCR test for the first batch of returning OFWs.”
On March 27, GCGMH chief of hospital, Dr. Mutya Kismet Tirol-Macuno, informed the governor during a meeting with the medical advisers that Bohol had already been identified at that time by DOH as a possible testing area for Covid-19.
Macuno said that if Bohol passes the standards, testing for Covid-19 could already be done right here in the province to prioritize those in severe health conditions.
PCR machines would be used, utilizing testing kits the same as the ones used at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center Sub-National Laboratory (VSMMC-SNL).
Specimens will only be submitted to the RITM for clarificatory results if the local test result proves positive. (PNA)