Bukidnon eyes to open biomolecular lab this month

Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center in Malaybalay City on 04 June 2020. MindaNews photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 9 September) – The installation of a biomolecular laboratory for COVID-19 swab tests at the Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center (BPMC) here has been completed and the facility can start operating this month, a health official said.

Dr. Miguel Antonio Prantilla, BPMC chief of hospital told the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) during its session on Tuesday that they have calibrated all equipment at the laboratory.

He said the facility can handle up to 1,000 samples per day.

He said they are just waiting for the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the provincial government and the Northern Mindanao Medical Center and the license to operate from the Department of Health, which will be issued after an inspection.

Prantilla added they already asked Gov. Jose Maria R. Zubiri Jr. to negotiate with a company for the collection of hazardous medical wastes from the laboratory.

Provincial Board member Nemesio Beltran Jr. said the facility should be opened soon so that samples taken from suspected COVID-19 patients in the province need not be brought to Cagayan de Oro City for RT-PCR tests.

He noted that patients have to wait for three to five days to know the test results.

Prantilla also told the SP that all beds for COVID-19 cases at BPMC were already occupied, and over 100 patients were waitlisted.

He said 92 percent of the patients were not vaccinated against the virus and only seven percent were inoculated.

During the same SP session Provincial Health Officer Dr. Gary Guido Tabios Jr., responding to a query from Beltran clarified that not all individuals who died in their homes were COVID-19 cases.

He said most of those who died at home suffered from other illnesses like hypertension, stroke and diabetes which worsened due to lack of medical care.

He said they were suspected of having contracted COVID-19 because their family members only revealed the symptoms related to the virus not the comorbidities.

But Tabios admitted that there were confirmed COVID-19 cases who died in their homes while trying to recover because they could no longer be accommodated in hospitals and isolation facilities. (MindaNews)