NEGROS Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson wants the staff members of the province’s molecular laboratories to be trained against the monkeypox disease.

Provincial Administrator lawyer Rayfrando Diaz II on Thursday, August 18, 2022, said the provincial government has made representation with the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to prioritize health workers from Negros Occidental if there is training for monkeypox.

He said there is a need to train the staff in the conduct of the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test to determine those who are infected by the disease.

“We need to acquire test kits for monkeypox and capacitate our employees to handle the samples and testing from possible monkeypox,” Diaz said.

He said that there is a need to prepare since many overseas Filipinos are going home to the province and some of them might have travel history in areas with confirmed cases of the disease like Africa.

“We are on look out for it, (so we will know) what we are supposed to do in time of the arrival of the overseas workers,” Diaz also said.

As of the moment, the provincial administrator said the province should acquire test kits for monkeypox and capacitate their health workers to handle the samples and testing from individuals possibly suffering from the disease.

Health authorities said that it is difficult to determine if an individual has monkeypox disease because the incubation period takes at least three weeks.

Once a person is positive for the disease, a three-month quarantine period is required, especially if it is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, they added.

Meanwhile, the provincial government is still waiting for the guidelines and protocols from the Department of Health regarding the monkeypox disease.

Diaz said they still have no idea where the testing is going to be made and at what stage of the disease should a person be tested.

“Regardless, we should be ready especially as it is difficult to avail the vaccines against the disease,” Diaz said.

He said, for now, the public should be careful and hopefully, the disease would not spread.