DOST-Davao to open 5 specimen collection booths for suspected COVID-19 cases

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 April) – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Davao will install five specimen collection booths for patients who are suspected of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in three areas in Davao Region to improve testing capability.

DOST-Davao director Anthony Sales said on Thursday that two of these collection booths would be installed at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), one at the regional office of Department of Health here, and two at Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

Davao Region. Map courtesy of Google

“This is where the samples would be taken from patients, even those who are just suspected of being infected as a proactive approach to know if they have the disease or not. After collection, it will be transmitted to the testing laboratories,” he said.

The official said the collection booths would make the testing process faster and more efficient.

“As of now, we do not know how many are infected because some of these may not have been tested yet. We are relying on those who are hospitalized and voluntarily submitted samples for testing. “We expect to install them by May,” he added.

The Department of Health targets to install 132 COVID-19 specimen collection booths across the country.

In Mindanao, only the SPMC could process test samples from patients suspected with COVID-19, but soon another testing laboratory would be established in DRMC in collaboration with the University of the Philippines-Mindanao and Philippine Genome Center Mindanao. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)