Davao Del Norte Seen To Host More Testing Centers


The province of Davao del Norte holds a “promising” position of accomplishing substantial number of COVID-19 testing with the presence of centers  projected to operate soon.

Guesting in a special edition of Kapihan  sa DavNor, Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) center chief, Dr. Bryan  Dalid revealed having been notified last week that DRMC can run its GenXpert machine for  COVID-19 testing.

Developed in the United States through the Global Fund, the GenXpert machine has been used for tuberculosis (TB) testing  and DRMC already has this machine even before the COVID-19 crisis, Dr. Dalid explained.

“Because of COVID pandemic,  they have configured this and they made cartridges for COVID (testing),” he said during the Kapihan with Provincial Governor Edwin Jubahib, Tagum City Mayor Allan  Rellon.

“I know  that this the first time that you are hearing this, mga three days ago I was informed that we are approved also,” he  added.

Dr. Dalid had yet to inform the local chief executives when would DRMC run the GenXpert for COVID-19 testing.

He assured the LCEs of DRMC assistance to acquire the Department of Health (DOH) accreditation for Kapalong District Hospital to run its GenXpert machine also for COVID testing.

Dr. Dalid made it  clear that the GenXpert machine of DRMC is not for rapid testing but it has been reconfigured based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test standards , “however ang gold standard is the one  we are building at DRMC with UP in collaboration of  the local governments of Davao del Norte”.

He was referring to the COVID-19 testing center set up in collaboration with the University of the Philippines (UP) Philippine Genome Center and with funding support from the local government of Davao del Norte, and the cities of Samal, Panabo and Tagum.

A laboratory of bio-safety level 2, this  COVID-19 testing center at  DRMC will run under the accreditation of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) “by the second week of June this year”.

“Dili ni basta basta kay bio safety level 2 lab (This is not ordinary because this is of bio-safety level 2;  this is a bio-molecular laboratory),” he emphasized.

He viewed having more testing centers as an advantage in “disposing of patients” whose  test results would be “swiftly” known without having to wait for results from another testing centers outside of the province.

“This would be the first time that in one province outside of Metro Manila, there is a number of testing centers,” he said  as looked forward of successfully helping Kapalong District Hospital acquire DOH accreditation for its GenXpert machine.

“So very promising in  terms of testing  centers ang atong probinsya (Our province is very promising in terms of testing centers),” he said.  (PIA XI/ Jeanevive Duron-Abangan)  

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