By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY — A 67-year old male patient, who was admitted at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) here for testing positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), died on June 5, only a day after he was admitted at the government hospital for showing symptoms of the infection.
Based on the profile released by the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao Region, the latest casualty, identified as DR-369, was a resident of Barangay Baliok in Talomo South, this city.
Barangay Baliok is considered a “moderate risk” area here.
DOH-Davao is currently investigating the patient’s possible history of exposure to a COVID-19 positive.
Meanwhile, the agency also reported three new cases Monday, bringing to 371 the total number of cases in Davao Region. Of the total, 213 have recovered and 31 have died.
The Omnibus Guidelines on the implementation of the Community Quarantine in the Philippines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force For the Management of Emerging Infections in the Philippines, individuals who are below 21 years old, above 60 years old, pregnant women, and individuals with immunodeficiency, co-morbidities and other health risks are permitted to engage in non-contact sports.
The COVID-19 testing laboratory of the government-run SPMC got the needed boost recently as it received four additional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines that will increase its capacity to do 800 to 1,000 tests daily, newly-appointed Health undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said.
Vega said in a text message that the government hospital has four new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines, two of which donated by San Miguel Corporation and another two by the Ayala Group of Companies, boosting the capacity of the SPMC laboratory from 200 at present.
“We have just installed and are waiting for consumables to make them operational,” he added.
President Duterte appointed Vega, the SPMC chief of hospital, as new Health undersecretary on Friday. Vega’s appointment came after the controversy surfaced involving the delay in the release of the benefits of the frontline health workers who got infected or died due to the COVID-19.
SPMC used to be the only COVID-19 testing laboratory in the Davao Region and Mindanao, but recently, the government has started to operationalize other testing laboratories in other parts of Mindanao.
The Davao Region has a total of three COVID-19 testing laboratories, with the addition of Davao Regional Medical Center and Davao One World Diagnostic Center Inc. based in Davao City and Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, which had been recently allowed by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and the DOH-Health Facilities and Services Regulatory Bureau on Saturday.