National lab for virus confirmation pushed

BAGUIO City Congressman Marquez Go is set to discuss with the Department of Health (DOH) for the creation of a national laboratory which will immediately evaluate and determine viruses for the immediate action to be taken by government.

In his weekly radio program “Bayan at Congreso” aired by Radyo Pilipinas Baguio, Go said he is set to pass a bill in response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019–nCoV) scare which hit China.

The solon added he is currently in talks with the DOH on how and what is needed in creating the specific division or bureau of DOH.

“Being a member of the committee on health in congress, I will discuss with the Secretary of Health on why we have to send overseas blood samples of suspected 2019–nCoV patients to Australia. We need to have the technology to do this here in the Philippines. We need to equip our department with all the necessary facilities despite this being not a regular occurrence and I think we need to have the lab that can do the test and be able to determine the soonest possible time whether these are confirmed viruses or not. The question here is what does it take to ensure that we are able to this in our country? We need to have the technology, laboratory materials, equipment including the laboratory building then this has to be constructed by the Department of Health,” Go said.

Patrick Pineda, information officer of DOH-Cordillera, confirmed that as of the moment, no medical case related to 2019–nCoV were recorded in Baguio City and the region.

Although congressional action through deliberation of the committee on health is yet to be done, the solon called on the DOH to be proactive regarding these matter to prevent the possible spread of viruses in the country.

DOH have announced that results of the confirmatory test arrived on Friday, January 24 from the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia indicating that samples from the child tested negative for 2019-nCoV.

“I will be getting in touch with Undersecretary Roger Tongan and ask him if it is possible and if it needs certain budget then we will include this in the budget for us to create a specific DOH laboratory that can do all the tests here in our country. What is worrisome is the fear that we create among people wherein not only the patient or their family is affected but even the community, so for us not to undergo with this fear, we should have a real time approach in determining the test results for immediate actions to be taken,” Go added.


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