Friday, July 31, 2020

Bohol’s first containerized RT-PCR testing lab gets a nod from Año and Romulo-Puyat

The containerized RT-PCR testing lab, which arrived in Bohol last July 17, is set up at the Bohol Medical Care Institute (BMCI) compound in Tagbilaran City. 

Both Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año and Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, who, along with Bohol Governor Arthur C. Yap, inspected today the province’s first containerized reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), say this is a most positive development for Bohol's fight to curb the spread of COVID-19 and its preparations for the re-opening of their tourism. 

The DILG and DOT secretaries inspected the laboratory after their meeting with Bohol mayors and key tourism sector leaders where the province laid out its plan for the re-opening of its tourism industry in the last quarter of 2020, which includes as a key requisite to have established the necessary COVID-19 safety protocols, tracing and testing system, including the appropriate health care facilities, not just for the locals but for the incoming tourists. 

 The RT-PCR lab is owned and run by the Provincial Government of Bohol

The 20-million-peso containerized molecular testing facility, which was acquired and will be managed by the provincial government of Bohol, at present has a staff of 12: 1 pathologist, 8 medical technicians, 1 lab technician, and two encoders who begun training in July. The head medical technician Mia Tagyamon says their results can be released as fast as the next day for priority cases, but they estimate an average of 2-3 days, depending on their swab sample load. 

This is Bohol's second PCR lab; the other is IATF-funded and is located at and will be run by Bohol’s COVID-19 dedicated hospital, the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital. It is set to begin operations next week.

Currently, Bohol swab samples are sent to Cebu for the lab testing, whose turnaround time is not as quick as can be expected. 

Governor Yap says the province is in the process of procuring one more containerized PCR lab which they plan to set up in Talibon town at the other end of Bohol island. But they target more. 

As of July 30, 2020, Bohol tallied a total of 86 COVID-19 cases and 4 deaths, but only 24 are currently active. 

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