The priority of the provincial government is to test the thousands of travellers arriving in Negros Occidental for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) at its Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital Molecular Laboratory in Silay City, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said yesterday.
“This is the mass testing that makes sense for the provincial government and we are succeeding in identifying Covid-19 infected repatriates,” to prevent the spread of the deadly virus, Diaz said.
Meanwhile, the rush of the multitude wanting to use the TLJPH molecular laboratory will deplete its limited resources and break it, if no standards are put in place for its use, he said.
“It is for the benefit of everyone, but its use cannot be entrusted to everybody,” he said.
Diaz said they are in the process of finalizing the TLJPH Molecular Laboratory protocols while breaking-in the machines, training more medical technicians, and catching up with the demands to test all repatriates coming in.
“Now, everyone wants to request for favors and use it for their own urgent ends. But the provincial government has identified its own priority, to test the thousands of travelers coming into Negros Occidental,” Diaz said.
The TLJPH only has 12,000 test kits that must be used wisely, Diaz said.
So, everyone's plans must wait until the laboratory and its supplies are ready, he said.
Diaz said the provincial government is not charging anything for the tests. “There is no ordinance for imposing P3,500 per test as fees. Hence, it is for free. Whoever says to the contrary, is not speaking the truth and is speaking without factual basis,” he added.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson has already authorized the purchase of additional 20,000 Covid-19 kits from a direct importer which is more affordable, Diaz said.
If this new supply is actually delivered, then the provincial government can extend the tests to more people, with or without any financial remuneration, he added.
For now, testing must be limited to targeted critical masses, pursuant to Department of Health Memorandum No. 0258 and TLJPH Molecular Laboratory protocols, Diaz said.*
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