TABUK CITY, Kalinga – This city may soon have its very own polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratory that will reduce waiting time of swab results.
The laboratory is already completed but the city is awaiting approval of its license to operate from the Department of Health, city health officer Dr. Henrietta Bagayao said.
The laboratory is equipped except for some computers, printers and minfuge, but once these are delivered, the facility will be ready for inspection, said Bagayao.
Bagayao’s office has already submitted to the DoH a walk thru video for the establishment of the RT – PCR supporting the request to operate.
“There is already the floor plan, there is also the Sangguniang Panlungsod resolution signed by the vice mayor and approved by the mayor, while there are pictures and a walk-thru video and the application (to operate),” said Bagayao in the vernacular.
Bagayao said that they await DoH to schedule the inspection of the lab and the equipment prior the issuance of a license to operate.
She also said that their staff, medical technologists, have undergone safety training in Baguio City, they are now awaiting the hands on training on RT-PCR, while she expressed hope that the inspection will be made soon so they could start use of the lab.
Mayor Darwin Estrañero has done his own inspection of the lab and is hoping that the DoH would soon make its own inspection so that a license to operate will be issued soon and for the lab to be used immediately.
“I hope (the DoH) could facilitate the approval of the license to operate so we could use the facility and address our problem of sending our swab samples (to Isabela and Baguio) since that lab is already overwhelmed. At the same time, we will know the result within the day,” he said.
Estranero said that construction and arrival of equipment took some time since the materials and equipment are mostly imported, the arrivals had been delayed due to the pandemic.
“The delay for the importation is already beyond our control, that is why we were not able to meet the deadline. Nonetheless, we are hoping that we will be able to operate the RT-PCR laboratory soon,” he said.
He said the operation of the lab would surely unburden RT-PCR laboratories which do their testing like Baguio and other provinces.
“We will know the result in no time. So we can also plan where we can bring our (Covid-19) patients,” he added.
Meanwhile, Estrañero said the city government’s new isolation facility in Agbannawag of this city may start admitting Covid-19 patients by next week with the completion of the first phase project.
The first phase of the Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility in Agabbanawag is composed of 18 prefabricated smart type house that will add 28 beds to the existing 30-bed facility in said barangay.
Each isolation room will be furnished with a bed, air conditioner, television, and a personal toilet and shower room.
Mayor Estrañero said the new facility was targeted to open in February but was delayed due to the late arrival of materials purchased from China.
The mayor said he expects phases II and III of the project to be completed within the month to decongest the existing isolation facilities amidst the surge again in Covid-19 cases here. The project consists of 50 prefabricated units in total.