A total of 200 China-made test kits for the coronavirus disease (COVID) 2019 have arrived in Bohol which continues to implement intensified measures to keep the province free of the disease.
Doctor Cesar Tomas Lopez, spokesperson of the Capitol’s anti-COVID inter-agency task force, said that the kits used to collect swab samples arrived on Thursday last week from the Department of Health 7.
Lopez assured that they will prioritize the testing of those showing symptoms of the disease, particularly the more extreme ones.
“Strictly e-prioritize ning mga mas nanginahanglan dili ni pwede sa mga healthy, walay gibati, or very mild ang gibati kay dili daghan atong testing kits,” he said.
According to Lopez, those with severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and those with influenza-like illness particularly those identified as Category 2 ILI patients or those with comorbidities such as hypertension and diabetes and senior citizens will be prioritized in the testing.
As of Monday afternoon, there are no reported SARI patients while there are 17 Category 2 ILIs and 317 Category 1 ILIs in the province.
Lopez said that the test kits will be distributed to hospitals across the province, but they have yet to come up with the breakdown of allocation.
Personnel at hospitals with test kits have been trained to operate the devices while the towns’ respective Municipal Health Office have been tasked to determine which patients will be prioritized in the testing based on their symptoms.
“The Municipal Health Officer upon observation sa iyang mga gipang home isolation, kung duna siyay ILI na mo fit in sa Category 2, iya ning ipa-testing,” he said.
Swab samples from the towns will be submitted to the Provincial Health Office which in turn will ship the samples to Cebu for testing.
Samples collected from suspected COVID patients in the Visayas are being tested at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, which is a sub-national laboratory recently accredited by the World Health Organization to test samples for COVID-19.
The opening of the testing center at the adjacent province has expedited the issuance of test results compared with the previous process of having to send swab samples to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City. (R. Tutas)