THE molecular diagnostics laboratory for Covid-19 that is being constructed in Camp Sotero Cabahug is targeted to start operations in the first week of September 2020.
Police Regional Office Central Visayas (PRO 7) Director Albert Ignatius Ferro inspected the facility Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, and found it to be almost finished.
He said the facility, with a project cost of P13 million, will be run by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Regional Health Service 7.
A molecular diagnostics laboratory uses the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test to detect the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Ferro said the PNP needs to secure a license from the Department of Health (DOH) before it can start operating the laboratory.
He said, however, that DOH officials have assured him that they will expedite the accreditation process.
The new laboratory will allow PRO 7 to immediately conduct RT-PCR tests on their personnel.
Ferro said they can also “help the City of Cebu if they need some help on testing”.
The PNP opened its first testing laboratory for Covid-19 in Camp Crame in May to serve the increasing number of police frontliners who contracted the virus.
Meanwhile, the Regional Health Service 7 marked its 27th anniversary Friday with the awarding of 11 personnel and the Negros Oriental Provincial Health Service Team for their outstanding service.
Ferro, who attended the celebration, commended the awardees for continuing to serve despite the risk of contracting Covid-19
“Despite the challenges and limitation of resources, you showed even more resiliency, professionalism and were still able to perform your duties beyond expectations bisan natakdan na ang uban but they still fight, direcho pa rin tayo,” Ferro said.
A total of 545 PRO 7 personnel have contracted the virus. More than 20 are still in isolation.
Ferro said he formed a medical quick response team as soon as he assumed office on Feb. 8.
This year’s anniversary celebration carried the theme “Walang Humpay na Serbisyong may Malasakit at Pagmamahal sa Kapulisan at Pamamayan sa Panahon ng Pandemya.”
As of Aug. 24, 16 policemen nationwide have succumbed to Covid-19.
Total infections among police officers increased to 3,380, including 2,479 personnel who have recovered from the disease.
Police officers who test positive for the virus are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine. Another test is conducted after the quarantine period.
Once cleared, a police officer has to rest for seven to 10 more days before going back to duty. / AYB with SUNSTAR PHILIPPINES