Governor Art Yap on Friday said that Bohol will not accept the entry of commercial flights and sea trips while the province is still without a molecular diagnostic laboratory to test incoming passengers for coronavirus disease (COVID) 2019 infection.
Yap, in a press conference, said that Bohol is still not ready to accommodate sea and air travelers considering the province’s inability to conduct its own COVID-19 tests.
“We are willing to accept. However, at this point in time, since we still do not have PCR (polymeras chain reaction) laboratories then we cannot accept them,” he said.
But even when Bohol will have its own COVID-19 testing laboratory, Yap stressed that stringent protocols will still be implemented including an “at least” five-day quarantine for arriving passengers.
The governor said that he already brought up the condition with airline companies and national officials.
“That is the only thing possible according to the medical practitioners at this point in time,” he added.
The provincial government has announced its plan to establish molecular diagnostic laboratories in key entry and exit points in the province to hasten the testing of both residents and visitors.
In an earlier statement, Yap said that he is eyeing to build testing laboratories in the Bohol Panglao International Airport, Tubigon, Talibon and Jagna.
The testing sites will be added to the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital’s (GCGMH) molecular laboratory which is already undergoing accreditation from the Department of Health.
The province already has its own PCR machine for the GCGMH but it has yet to be used pending approval to operate and the arrival of other equipment.
GCGMH medical chief Dr. Mutya Macuno projected that they will be able to start operations of the molecular lab within the month of June.
She said that they are expecting equipment from Davao and China to arrive in the next few days.
Two medical technologists who were trained in Cebu to handle COVID-19 testing at the GCGMH have also arrived in Bohol and are on their first week of mandatory quarantine since their arrival. (R. Tutas)