DOH clarifies delays in Covid-19 tests

THE Department of Health (DOH)–Cordillera explained testing procedure at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BHGMC) for Covid–19 undergo two levels before the final clearing coming from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

BGHMC accommodates cases in the Cordillera region including those coming from Ilocos Region and Cagayan Valley.

Doctor Amelita Pangilinan, DOH-CAR director, explained with BGHMC as one of five hospitals in the country as a sub-national hospital for Covid–19 testing all selected patients particularly those identified suffering from diabetes, cancer patients and those 60 years old and above are considered vulnerable to the virus as priority for the laboratory testing.

“The limitations of the test to be given by BGH is screening and the first confirmatory test to which this will still have to be submitted to the national reference lab which is RITM for the final confirmatory test,” Pangilinan said.

At present, the result of a final confirmatory test would take a few days due to the influx of other lab specimens being sent to RITM for final confirmation.

“Comparing it during the time of January this year, the final confirmatory test could be sent back to us for two to three days, at present it would take at least five days for the final result to be received here at BGHMC,” Pangilinan added.

The delay on final test result is attributed by DOH-CAR to the influx of specimen samples coming from all over the country aside from those coming from Metro Manila being sent to RITM.

Pangilinan appealed to public and private hospitals in the three regions to continue servicing patients having other health concerns not related to Covid - 19 as these patients have specific medical treatment for their ailments.

“This is our appeal to other hospitals not only in CAR but in Regions 1 and 2 for hospital officials to continue servicing patients with other health concerns like dialysis, cancer and others health concerns which are not related to Covid-19 as they have been identified by the President’s proclamation to be exempted due to their humanitarian and medical conditions. These are immuno-compromised patients and they should be serviced by our health services sector and we must consider their regular services coning from the hospitals,” Pangilinan added.


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