ILOILO First District Representative Janette Garin had asked the Department of Health (DOH) and the office of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go to bring two Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) specialists to Iloilo and her request was granted Saturday afternoon, March 21.

Garin said earlier on Sunday, March 22 that she departed Manila and proceeded to Iloilo with complete kits, primers, reagents and control.

"After four hours, the lab was declared capable to test Covid samples. By tomorrow (March 23), we expect results from the backlog of samples. This will be our guide in LGUs response regarding limited lockdowns and strict quarantine," Garin said.

“While we are praying for the recovery of my constituent currently intubated, we appeal for the understanding of all. This is not the time to be stubborn,” Garin added.

Guimbal town reported the first confirmed case of coronavirus disease in Iloilo Province, the Department of Health (DOH)-Western Visayas announced on Saturday. Guimbal is the home town of Garin under the first district of Iloilo Province.

"This is not the time to be selfish. This virus knows our weaknesses. Fast means saving lives. Time is gold. Let us not waste every minute that we can prepare in the provinces," Garin said.

"With the able leadership of Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, Dr. Joseph Dean Nicolo, Chief of Western Visayas Medical Center's (WVMC) and team, Western Visayas Sanitarium and Western Visayas State University (WVSU) Hospitals dedicated officers and staff, we are happy to announce that we have embarked on the following plan that WVMC as dedicated Covid-19 hospital and WVSU as non-Covid-19 hospital," Garin said.

She added that the Western Visayas Sanitarium will absorb spill over from WVSU but will be concurrently enhanced/ upgraded by specialists from WVSU.

"In the event that WVMC will reach its maximum capacity, WVSU Hospital will be the second Covid dedicated hospital and Western Visayas Sanitarium, together with district hospitals (upon clearance from the Governor) will be the non-Covid hospitals," Garin added.

Mayors in the first district of Iloilo are currently beefing up their quarantine centers. Barangays with positive cases will have door to door check.

"Bottom line, we target isolating the infected from the possibly infected and protect the uninfected. This will be a hard task ahead and we are counting on the support and cooperation of all. God bless and keep safe everybody," Garin said.