The Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas said the coronavirus (Covid-19) molecular laboratory at the Governor Celestino Gallares Hospital here will soon become operational.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH-7 chief pathologist, said they are helping in the capability building process for the personnel who will man the facility to boost the Covid-19 testing capacity of the province.
“There will be more functional molecular labs in the outskirts of the region,” she said.
Governor Arthur Yap on Monday announced that a containerized molecular laboratory is also expected to arrive this week and is ready for commissioning in the succeeding week.
Once the facility begins operation, he is considering giving minors an additional curfew-free day.
Currently, Bohol residents aged 18 and below are only allowed to go out of their residence on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Yap is also reaching out to potential partners who can help come up with a program that could make the youth productive while out of school.
During the annual council meeting of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) last July 8, Yap requested the organization to design a program that will put to good use the spare time of children, particularly those who might not be able to enroll this school year.
The governor said he will make the same request to the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP).
Noting the huge disparity between the enrollment turnout in school year 2019-2020 and school year 2020-2021, Yap said this means hundreds of thousands of young people are going to stay at home.
“What are they going to do at home? Glued on the internet? The internet is a big help, but if it is unsupervised, it is also very dangerous. That’s why I asked the BSP and GSP, and pretty soon I will be approaching the Diocese of Tagbilaran and the Diocese of Talibon and ask them to come up with a joint program to add some sports, hiking, and other outdoor activities. There should be supervised programs for the youth,” Yap said.
Department of Education (DepEd)-Bohol records as of July 2 show that the total enrollment for school year 2020-2021 in public schools only reached 214,590, which is 70,664 short of the 285,254 total in school year 2019-2020.
In private schools, the total enrollment for school year 2020-2021 only reached 16,763 while last school year’s total was 40,456. (PNA)