The second set of COVID-19 confirmatory lab results for Caraga region was released today by the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC). Lab results of Six (6) patients from Caraga Regional Hospital and three (3) from Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center were all Negative for COVID-19. Four more lab results are pending.
To date, Caraga region does not have a specialized molecular biology laboratory capable of performing biohazard tests like the COVID-19. Confirmatory testing for COVID-19 includes certain requirements like Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) based testing kits, Biosafety Level 2 (BSL 2) Cabinets, trained Medical Technologists on biohazard safety and the Biohazard Safety Laboratory itself which will cost millions in purchase and more time for proper training before operation. With this, all nose-throat swab collected samples of qualified Persons Under Investigation (PUIs) are brought to SPMC as it is the only qualified sub-national confirmatory testing laboratory in Mindanao.
“We collect samples from qualified individuals and bring it to SPMC in Davao City because we still don’t have the capacity to perform it here in the region. In the meantime, while we are still waiting for the other results, I urge all Caraganons to continue cooperating with us, the LGUs, and the uniformed personnel by simply staying at home and practicing health preventive measures,” Regional Director Jose Llacuna, Jr. said.
Department Memorandum No. 2020-0108, or the “Guidelines for Management of Patients with Possible and Confirmed COVID-19”, states that admitted patients with severe manifestations, elderlies, and PUIs with co-morbidities are the criteria for specimen collection and COVID-19 Testing.
As of this time, Caraga region is still COVID-19 negative. Latest data shows a total of Thirty-six (36) PUIs, 12 are currently admitted while 24 are on strict home quarantine. Three PUIs have already been discharged following negative results and good medical condition. (DOH Caraga Center for Health Development/RPN DXKS)