Cotabato’s first COVID-19 testing machine, isolation facility now fully operational

Published October 15, 2020, 8:42 AM

by Malu Cadelina Manar

M’LANG, North Cotabato — Cotabato Governor Nancy Alaan Catamco led the blessing and inauguration on Wednesday of the P70 million Temporary and Treatment Monitoring Facility and the Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing machine for coronavirus disease  (COVID-19) located at the M’lang District Hospital in Poblacion here.


Catamco said the COVID-19 testing facility is the first in North Cotabato

Cotabato 2nd district board member Dr. Philbert Malaluan, also head of the Incident Command Post (ICP) of the province’s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), said it took almost seven months to build the 26-bed isolation facility.

The isolation facility inside the government-owned M’lang District Hospital is equipped with ventilators, delivery room, recovery station, and other structures, according to Malaluan.

The P30-million two-storey structure can accommodate 10 severe COVID-19 patients with 10 mechanical ventilators worth P40 million.

The RT-PCR Covid-19 testing machine, which was donated by the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), can read and analyze at least a thousand swab samples or specimens in a day, Malaluan said.   The machine costs P15 million.

Catamco said the COVID-19 provincial isolation facility and the testing machine are among their responses to President Duterte’s orders to contain the spread of the virus.

Malaluan said that apart from the construction of an isolation facility in M’lang, Catamco also ordered the creation of the Task Force Sagip Stranded North Cotabatenos which has already rescued some 23,000 locally-stranded individuals (LSIs) and returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)  since the start of the pandemic. 

Present during the inauguration were Department of Health-12 regional director Aristides Tolentino Tan, Cotabato 3rd district Representative Jose Ping-Ping Tejada, M’lang Mayor Atty. Russel Abonado, Dr Eva Rabaya of the Integrated Provincial Health Office, Dr. Glicerio Sotea of the M’lang Rural Health Unit, and s representative from the EDC.