THE Cristina Lee Dino Foundation (CLDF), through the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV), donated on Monday, March 1, 2021, two reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to Siquijor Province and the Department of Health 7.
According to CLDF, the additional machines will accelerate the testing capacity for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Central Visayas.
The RT-PCR machine donated for Siquijor will be placed in its first Siquijor Molecular Laboratory.
This laboratory will be completed in two months, but it will take another two to three months before it can start operations because medical technologists still need to be trained, said the Department of Public Works and Highways 7.
Also, the Provincial Government of Siquijor has yet to purchase the laboratory’s biosafety cabinet.
This donation of the RT-PCR machine, with the support of President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, is a response to the request of Siquijor Governor Zaldy Villa in an episode of Mugstoria Ta, an online conversation with OPAV Assistant Secretary Anthony Gerard ‘Jonji’ Gonzales.
Villa said that the province needs a testing laboratory so that it can start accepting tourists. Tourism is a major contributor to the economy of the province, he said.
Both RT-PCR testing machines were formally turned over at the new Visayas Covid-19 Vaccination Operations Center in Oakridge Business Park, Mandaue City.
The turnover was attended by Gonzales, IATF-Visayas Chief Implementer Ret. MGen. Mel Feliciano and wife, Mrs. Mia Feliciano, DOH-7 chief pathologist Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, and other DOH 7 officials. (NRC/With WBS, PR)