Bulacan gov't to ink MOA with PRC for mass swab testing

Published April 30, 2020, 10:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Freddie Velez

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan–Governor Daniel R. Fernando has announced that the Bulacan government is expected to sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) for the acquisition of 1,428 swab test kits worth P5 million for the mass testing of the province’s suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases during the 6th Inter-Agency Task Force meeting held at the Official Residence, Capitol Compound in this city Wednesday afternoon.

“Ngayon, kinakailangan na madalian tayo. Kinakailangan bago mag-May 15, kung hindi man natin mapatay lahat ng problema natin sa COVID, kontrolado natin o malaki na ang nabawas,” Fernando said.

The governor said that it will only take 48 hours for the PRC to release the result of the said swab tests because it will be analyzed on the PRC Molecular Laboratory in Mandaluyong which is accredited by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

Fernando requested the Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by Vice Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado to hold a special session and discuss the proposed MOA with the PRC for immediate approval.

The local chief executive also announced that the Bulacan Medical Center’s new three-storey building, which was designated as the Provincial COVID-19 Center, will start its operation on Friday, May 1.

He said some of the rooms in the COVID facility will be dedicated to Bulacan health workers to ensure the utmost care for them due to their exposure to the disease.

The governor also tasked the Incident Management Team under the Provincial Health Office-Public Health to thoroughly identify the COVID-19 positive patients in the province.

“Kapag ang address ay Bulacan, sa Bulacan na nakadatos ‘yun. Ang tanong, nasa atin ba? Wala naman sa atin. Ang dapat, kung ano ang local transmission, doon tayo dumatos. Batay kasi sa imbestigasyon ng aming tanggapan, ang 11 sa 114 na confirmed cases sa lalawigan ay napabilang lamang, subalit hindi na ito nakatira pa dito sa lalawigan ng

Bulacan at pawang walang nakasalamuha o close contact, ” Fernando said.

The task force has also agreed to require Bulakenyo Overseas Filipino Worker repatriates to undergo an additional 14-day quarantine in any provincial, city, or municipal quarantine facility to ensure that they are free of the deadly virus.

Incident Commander and PHO-PH Head Dr. Jocelyn Gomez reported that they have drafted the Provincial Team for the Management of the Dead during the COVID-19 pandemic for the approval of the governor.

Bulacan Provincial Police Office Acting Provincial Director Police Colonel Lawrence Cajipe suggested that Enhanced Community Quarantine violators, especially those who were arrested due to gambling, drinking, and drug-related cases, be removed from the list of Social Amelioration Program beneficiaries.

As of 4:pm on April 29, 2020, the provincial health office reported two new COVID-19 cases in a 7-month-old boy from Bocaue and a 49-year-old woman from Guiguinto. Bulacan has a total of 114 confirmed positive cases, 19 recoveries, and 24 deaths.