100 swab kits for Covid-19 to arrive in Bacolod today

A TOTAL of 100 Universal Transport Medium (UTM) or swab testing kits for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) from Department of Health (DOH) will arrive in Bacolod City today.

Congressman Greg Gasataya said Friday, March 20, the DOH confirmed to him that the testing kits will arrive in Bacolod Saturday, March 21, and are intended for the persons under investigation (PUIs) in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental.

He said of 100 UTMs, 30 will be given to the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH), 30 for the Negros Occidental, 20 will be the buffer, and the remaining 20 will be given to Bacolod City.

“We are thankful that at last we have the testing kits for our PUIs,” he added.

Gasataya noted that the PUI swabs, which will be placed in UTM, will be forwarded to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for a confirmatory test.

Gasataya along with seven other members of House of Representatives in Negros Occidental earlier sought the immediate intervention by the DOH to address concerns besetting the CLMMRH in its efforts to take proactive measures against the spread of Covid-19.

In their two-page letter, dated March 18, 2020 to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Reps. Gasataya (Bacolod City), Gerardo Valmayor (1st District), Leo Rafael Cueva (2nd District), Francisco Benitez (3rd District), Juliet Marie Ferrer (4th District), Ma. Lourdes Arroyo (5th District), Genaro Alvarez, Jr. (6th District) and Joseph Stephen Paduano (Abang Lingkod party-list), also asked the DOH’s support for the Capitol-owned Teresita Jalandoni Provincial Hospital (TJPH) in Silay City.

The Negrense solons pointed out six major concerns, which they said, hinder the operations of both the CLMMRH and the TJPH in the fight against Covid-19 following the issuance by President Duterte of Proclamation Order 929, which placed the entire country under a state of calamity.

These issues affecting the hospitals, they said, are: Continuous and consistent flow of supply chain of medical supplies; Need for further Universal Transport Medium a.k.a. “swabs” confirmation of PUIs; Protocol for sending swabs out from the province; Holding of medical supplies from Metro Manila; Need for equipment to assay UTMs and, need for AFP regular trips for logistics of medical supplies, if necessary.

The Bacolod City-based CLMMRH “serves as the sole-end referral and premiere tertiary hospital that offers specialized medical care for the entire province,” they added.

The congressmen said the CLMMRH has become paramount to the efforts of the province against Covid-19 as the leading institution in the testing and quarantine of PUIs and persons under monitoring (PUMs).

Gasataya said they are hopeful that there will be testing center in Negros Occidental since the RITM is the lone testing center for specimen in the country.

“But, it’s not easy to push the testing center because it should be accredited by the DOH, it should have an equipment, and it requires to train the health workers,” he said. (MAP)


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