Having a coronavirus disease (COVID) 19 testing center in Bohol would improve the province’s capacity to fight the highly contagious disease but the hospital eyed to house the facility is not yet ready in terms of ensuring biosecurity, said a local health official.
According to assistant provincial health office Dr. Yul Lopez, the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGHM) in Tagbilaran City, the largest government-run health facility in the province, does not have enough space to meet biosafety standards required to establish a COVID-19 testing facility.
“I think kitang tanan nakasud man siguro sa Gallares Hospital, tupad ra nimo ng pediatric ward unya emergency room. Kung maghimo ka og laboratory, kinahanglan ng biosecurity kay maghatod baya ka’g specimen diha every day,” said Lopez who is also the Capitol’s spokesperson on COVID-related issues.
“Mo ingon ka’g maghatod og 200 ka swab, unya uroy og naay positive anang 200 unya mo labay siya sa sud, apiki g’yud ang Gallares,” he added.
GCGMH director Dr. Mutya Macuno has nonetheless proposed to national health authorities to have the national government-administered hospital accredited as a COVID-19 testing center.
Lopez also noted that medical technologists need to undergo training at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City before they are certified to be able to man a COVID-19 testing facility.
The training takes about two weeks to complete.
“Usa sa requirements pud, is the medtech has to undergo an OJT sa RITM in Manila. Tua didto ang nga maestro nila kay kinahanglan man g’yud ni og expert hands and minds…kay kung mo ingon ka’g negative unya false negative simbako lang, dako kaayo og implications,” he said.
Both Metro Manila and Bohol are on enhanced community quarantine which bans sea and air travel while the RITM, which is the first COVID-19 testing center in the country, has been swamped with testing swab samples.
Currently, there are at least 17 COVID-19 testing centers across the Philippines.
In Metro Manila, the accredited testing centers are the UP National Institutes of Health and San Lazaro Hospital in Manila; Philippine Red Cross and Detoxicare Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory in Mandaluyong; Lung Center of the Philippines, St. Luke’s Medical Center and Victoriano Luna Hospital in Quezon City; The Medical City in Pasig; Makati Medical Center; St. Luke’s Medical Center-BGC in Taguig and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Inc. in Muntinlupa.
Outside the capitol region, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center; Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu; Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao; Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo; and the Bicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory in Legazpi City have been identified as certified testing facilities. (A. Doydora)