Proposed Covid-19 test center in Eastern Visayas awaits assessment

THE first test center for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Eastern Visayas is awaiting onsite assessment from the Department of Health (DOH) and the Regional Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) composite team.

The self-assessment and risk assessment of the proposed facility was completed on Friday, March 27, based on the RITM and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines while the results of the assessment were submitted by DOH in the region.

“We’re praying hard that we make it beyond this hurdle at the soonest possible time,” said the Eastern Visayas-based Tingog party-list who is part of the technical working group (TWG) for the setting up of the center.

The proposed test center is located at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) along the Magsaysay Boulevard in Tacloban City.

According to the Tingog party-list, the retrofitting of the laboratory facility is ongoing while the volunteer medical technician team had already undergone an orientation.

They have also completed the preparation of the needed laboratory equipment.

“We’re doing the best we can from our end,” said Philip Jude Acidre, chief political affairs officer of the Tingog party-list.

The RT Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine, a cutting-edge diagnostic technology, has been ordered and expected to be delivered next week.

It was learned that the RT PCR will be procured by Leyte First District Congressman Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.

While they are targeting that the center will be operational in two weeks’ time, Tingog partylist maintained that “it is up to DOH and RITM for them to conduct the onsite assessment.”

If the proposed center will be approved, it will be the third Covid-19 test center in the Visayas regions after the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City and the Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) in Iloilo City which is undergoing accreditation.

To date, Covid-19 samples from Eastern Visayas are transported and tested at the VSMMC through the assistance of the Philippine Coast Guard (PSG).

“Thank you for everyone who continued to partner with Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Romualdez and the Office of Rep. Martin Romualdez, steadfastly believing in the importance of this initiative despite the odds and challenges - Philippine Association of Medical Technologists (Pamet), DOH, EVRMC, SSSHS, City Government of Tacloban, Tacloban City Health Office, and Remedios Trinidad Romualdez (RTR) Hospital and the many others who continue to selflessly share their passion and expertise,” said the Tingog partylist in a statement.

Meanwhile, Tingog party-list continues to provide free daily breakfast to the frontliners aside from distributing improvised face shields for healthcare workers and attending to the online inquiries and requests for assistance to the public in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As of March 28, Eastern Visayas has one confirmed case of positive Covid-19 case from Northern Samar.

The region has 379 patients under monitoring (PUIs), with 23 admitted and 356 under home isolation for mild PUIs. (SunStar Philippines)


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