Officials seek own COVID-19 testing lab for Caraga

Published April 27, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Mike U. Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY – Officials in Northeastern Mindanao, or Caraga region, are seeking the help of the Philippine Red Cross so that the region could have its own laboratory to test for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection.

Even though Caraga region only has three confirmed COVID-19 cases and over a two dozen suspected cases, the officials in the region were unanimous in seeking more preventive and security measures against the dreaded disease.

As such, Surigao del Norte first district Rep. Francisco Jose “Bingo” F. Matugas II said other regional, provincial and city officials have joined him in seeking the establishment of a COVID-19 lab in Caraga.

“This is very vital, to capacitate the province and the region and also to protect its constituents from COVID-19 virus,” stressed the Surigao del Norte solon.

He also supported the request made by Governor Francisco T. Matugas for the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), through its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sen. Richard J. Gordon, to establish a laboratory in Caraga region for the conduct of real time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.

Rep. Matugas said this move would further ensure the prevention and control of spread of COVID-19.

“This is not only for the protection in our own province but for the entire region of Caraga,” he stressed.

Caraga region is comprised of the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur, Dinagat islands and the cities of Surigao, Tandag, Bislig, Bayugan and this region’s premier and capital city of Butuan.