Biosafety top priority at proposed COVID-19 testing center in Bohol

Published April 27, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Minerva Newman

TAGBILARAN CITY – Bohol first district representative Edgar Chatto reminded the Department of Health (DOH) to make biosafety standard as its highest priority in evaluating the establishment of the COVID-19 testing center at the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH) here.

Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto

Chatto told DOH-7 Regional Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas and GCGMH chief Dr. Mutya Tirol-Macuno not to compromise the safety of the laboratory staff, hospital personnel, patients, and the community.

“The need for mass testing of as many Boholanos as possible, and establishing a testing laboratory in Bohol will only be a practical move only if biosafety requirement is assured. The community testing will comprise the database of COVID-19 affectation to best manage the pandemic in the province,” Chatto said.

To date, Bohol is dependent on the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City for COVID-19 laboratory tests. Before the COVID-9 crisis, Chatto had already proposed for the establishment of the Cortes hospital sub-national laboratory.

Once approved, Bohol will have its own Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) sub-national testing facility at the proposed new GCGMH in Cortes town

According to Chatto that the new GCGMH hospital complex project, including the building for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases laboratory has been allocated with P2.3 billion budget that is included in the 2020 General Appropriations Act.

For the urgent need for COVID-19 response at this time, the proposed testing center at the GCGMH which has undergone strict evaluation was a good option until the RITM facility at the Cortes GCGMH is realized.