By Marie Tonette Marticio
TACLOBAN City – The first eight swab samples in the realtime transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) at the Eastern Visayas Regional COVID-19 Testing Center (EVRTC) all yielded negative results for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The testing conducted on Monday, May 11, included the second sample of Patient EV 14 from Catbalogan City.
Although EVRTC has the capability to process 700 samples per day, it has an initial testing capacity of 90 specimens in a day and only has 300 start-up testing kits.
Department of Health (DOH-8) Regional Director Minerva Molon said due to the limited testing kits, the initial testing would prioritize COVID-19 suspects coming from areas with confirmed cases such as Tarangan, Samar with 15 cases and Catbalogan City with one case.
The official has likewise admitted that while Eastern Visayas now has a testing center, it cannot yet conduct mass testings.
She added that EVRTC will not yet accept specimens directly from the local government units (LGUs).
“All sample specimens from the LGUs and other hospitals except the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) will be coursed through the DOH-EV CHD Surveillance Unit for recording and checking on the packaging. No walk-in testing will be performed in EVRMC,” she maintained.
As of Monday, May 11, the region has recorded one new case from Tarangnan, Samar bringing the total number of cases to 20. The
region has no recorded deaths and has seven recovered patients.