Fernando defers opening of COVID lab

Published July 15, 2020, 4:18 PM

by Freddie Velez

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan –  Bulacan Governor Daniel R. Fernando led the blessing of the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory (MDL) today after 30 days of construction to respond quickly to the coronavirus pandemic.   

But the laboratory will not be operational until September.

Aside from the fact that the training of health personnel to man the laboratory has yet to be completed, Fernando believes the “ghost” month of August is not appropriate to open any business or begin the operation of the lab.

“Sa sariling paniniwala ko lamang po ito, hindi ko po pinapayo o sinasabe na gagawin din ng lahat ito,” (This is only my personal belief.  I do not advise or tell you to do this), Fernando explained.

The MDL is expected to expand the testing capacity of the province to at least 300 tests a day and obtain results within a few hours thereby identifying quickly those who have tested positive for the virus.  It is reportedly an integral part of Bulacan’s recovery and resiliency plan to help usher in a “new normal.”

Fernando added that like the now operational Bulacan Medical Center GeneXpert Laboratory, the new MDL can also test for TB, flu, HIV and Hepatitis B and C using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine.

Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Dr. Joy Gomez said Bulacan now has 726 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The youngest patient is a 1-year-old girl from Dona Remedios Trinidad (DRT), the third  reported COVID-19 case of the town.

DRT’s Patient #2,  a 68-year-old male died yesterday along with a 54-year-old male from the City of San Jose Del Monte, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths to 39.

The PHO said 247 patients recovered.