By Helen Castano | 10:31 PM July 31, 2020
Bohol’s very own laboratory for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing will soon become operational.
The containerized reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing laboratory was inspected by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Friday afternoon.
“The people of Bohol are very lucky
because meron na kayong sariling testing laboratory center. Meaning to say you can test up to 400 people so malaking bagay ito sa mga residents ng Bohol,” said Año.
“Although maliit naman ang active cases pero dapat ready tayo dahil hindi pa natin alam ang virus na ito,” he added.
Puyat said the testing laboratory would be useful for the re-opening of Bohol’s tourism industry.
“Excited na excited na ako kasi finally may PCR lab na. Para kasi gusto na nating mag-start na ang tourism. Naintindihan ko yung mga residents siyempre gusto nila lahat ng pumunta dito negative. So with this RT-PCR lab, ang sabi nga ni Governor Yap mga apat daw, mas mabilis, ” said Puyat.
“So hindi papasok dito sa island kung hindi negative. Kasi marami nang nawalan ng trabaho, para magkatrabaho na rin. Sana, slowly but surely mabukas na natin ang tourism,” she added.
The laboratory’s license to operate is yet to be released.
Once it will be fully operational, it can test 150 specimens within eight hours and 450 specimens in a day.
Both Año and Puyat also met the mayors, provincial board members and other stakeholders discussing about health protocols and tourism-related concerns.
Even though Bohol only has manageable COVID-19 cases, the officials in the province were unanimous in seeking more preventive and security measures against the dreaded disease.
As such, Governor Arthur Yap wanted the establishment of a COVID-19 lab in Bohol for the conduct of real time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.
Specimens from suspected patients in Bohol is still being sent to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center and it will take days to a week to get the results.
Bohol has 86 cases, with 22 active cases. There were 60 who recovered from the infections. Four deaths were recorded.
These patients tested positive for COVID-19 infection and died while awaiting their test results.
Dr. Yul Lopez, spokesperson of the Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF), said the testing laboratory has eight medical technologist, one technician, one pathologist, and two encoders.