Coronavirus testing lab eyed in Agusan del Norte

Gov. Dale Corvera. PHOTO/PIA-CARAGA

The provincial government of Agusan del Norte is mulling establishing its own COVID-19 testing laboratory.

Agusan del Norte Gov. Dale Corvera said the planned molecular laboratory is one of the province’s many efforts to combat COVID-19 as it intends to veer away from its dependency on the testing center in Davao City for confirming COVID-19 cases.

The proposed testing facility in Cabadbaran City, the provincial capital, will test swab specimens using real-time (RT) PCR or polymerase chain reaction machine, Corvera said.

As of Thursday, the province has posted one confirmed case of COVID-19.

Corvera also said the provincial government is purchasing more rapid test kits to widen surveillance and detection of COVID-19 transmission within the province.

“With the growing number of those that need to be tested on possible infection of the dreaded COVID-19, the province of Agusan del Norte is now working on the procurement of at least 8,000 more rapid testing kits,” he said in a statement.

In view of the limited supply of test kits to determine infection, Corvera said priority would be given to people exhibiting severe symptoms, with underlying illnesses or those from the vulnerable groups and frontliners, who are most exposed to the virus.

Agusan del Norte so far tested 902 persons, of which 732 are healthcare frontliners, 94 locally stranded individuals(LSIs) and 76 non-medical personnel. CLC

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