THE Negros Oriental Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) passed a resolution Tuesday, May 4, suggesting to the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office (Norppo) the procurement of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test kits for its personnel.
This developed following a request from provincial police director, Colonel Bryant Demot, to the provincial IATF, chaired by Governor Roel Degamo, for free RT-PCR swab testing for the Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel in the province for purposes out of their duty in line with the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
IATF-EID executive director Adrian Sedillo said Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion, Covid-19 incident commander, had raised the concern over the request during Tuesday morning’s meeting with the body, saying that if all police personnel were to avail themselves of the RT-PCR tests for free, it will exhaust the resources of the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital Molecular Laboratory (NOPHML).
Sedillo clarified that if a police personnel is required an RT-PCR test for other purposes, such as for promotion or travel, then he has to pay for the fee stipulated by the NOPHML.
This also applies to all other agencies and private entities, except for those who are covered by the law as “exemptions” or “privileged,” but these are non-transferrable, he said.
If the PNP organization has a budget for Covid testing, the best that the province can offer is for the RT-PCR kits to be brought here, and the NOPHML will run the tests and process the specimens, he added.
The RT-PCR tests are given for free only to patients who are under the category of a suspect or probable for Covid-19, those who exhibit flu-like signs and symptoms, and contacts of persons who have tested positive for the virus, Sedillo said.
“We want to make it clear that we have an ordinance regarding the operations of our NOPHML, and giving in to the request of the PNP might be a precedence for others to follow,” he added. (PNA)