By Mike Crismundo
PATIN-AY, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur – The provincial government of Agusan del Sur is pushing for the establishment of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing laboratory in the province due to the rising number of cases.
Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago B. Cane, Jr. is asking the help of the Department of Health (DOH) for the establishment of the COVID-19 testing laboratory.
The establishment of a laboratory in the province is part of its efforts to effectively curb the transmission of the disease.
The provincial governor bared that they are hoping to establish the laboratory and make it fully operational before the end of the year.
Other local government units (LGUs) in Caraga region are also pushing for the establishment of COVID-19 testing laboratories in their respective areas.
The DOH has been providing the necessary assistance to speed up the accreditation process of the proposed laboratories by expediting the licensing process of COVID-19 laboratories of the LGUs.
“Should they have queries about the process, they can always contact the agency’s regional offices,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire during the ‘Laging Handa’ Network Briefing with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Tuesday.
She said the DOH will help in the preparation of the establishment of the laboratory by providing assessments and identifying the areas that need improvement. Free training will also be provided for the laboratory staff and technicians.
“We will be going on-site to coordinate with licensing officers and provide guidance on establishing the laboratory with the locality to hasten the entire process,” she added.
Gov. Cane joined the ‘Laging Handa’ Network Briefing on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the officials of Butuan City led by Mayor Engr. Ronnie Vicente C. Lagnada is also eyeing to have the city’s own COVID-19 testing laboratory.
The city is pushing for the establishment of a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing laboratory in the city in order to hasten the production of test results which is needed for contact tracing.
“Our primary goal is to contain the spread of the disease. By providing test kits to our regional counterparts, detection can be done effectively. A testing laboratory that is accessible in the region will greatly improve the overall response of health authorities to this pandemic,” Lagnada said.
The provincial government of Agusan del Norte is also planning to put up its own COVID-19 testing laboratory.
Agusan del Norte Gov. Dale Corvera said they plan to set up a molecular laboratory which will be one of their efforts to combat COVID-19.