Benguet molecular laboratory operational by February

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Benguet Caretaker Congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Yap disclosed that the province’s molecular laboratory that was constructed within the compound of the Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) will be operational next month to improve the release of swab test results of probable and suspected carriers of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) from inside and outside the province.

Yap, who graced the inauguration of the provinces’ P13 million isolation facility, stated that the processing of the molecular laboratory’s license to operate is now on its final stages and that BeGH and the provincial government are now accomplishing some minor requirements that will allow the release of the required license for the facility to operate.

He admitted having followed up the matter with the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and the health department on what were the remaining deficient of the facility because there were no government funds that were used to put up the facility as the same were sourced out from his personal funds.

The lawmaker stipulated that the operation of the molecular laboratory has already been delayed for quite some time and that the people of Benguet and other neighboring provinces inside and outside the Cordillera are hoping for the operation of the facility so that the release of swab test results will be done at the earliest possible time and to help in decongesting the already congested Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), the designated sub-national testing center in Northern Luzon.

Congressman Yap underscored that once the laboratory will be operational, it will accept swab tests coming from other parts of the Cordillera so that the turnaround time for the release of the same will be done soonest to help in the decongestion of isolation units from individuals who are simply awaiting their swab test results.

According to him, the structure was completed a few months ago while the required units of equipment had been provided that is why the facility is simply awaiting the issuance of the license to operate from the health department.

Yap expressed fear that the prevalence of the virus might be gone anytime which might defeat the purpose why the aforesaid facility was constructed, thus, he is personally following up the matter with the health department so that the facility will be used the soonest and for the same to serve its purpose.

Earlier, Congressman Yap shelled out more or less P7 million from his personal resources to bankroll the construction of the molecular laboratory and the provision of the required units of equipment to allow the facility to test the swab specimens coming from the different municipalities and to ensure the timely release of the results for the guidance of frontliners and those who were tested.

He pointed out that individuals who underwent the swab test should not be compelled to wait for a long period of time in the quarantine facilities, thus, the need for the province’s molecular laboratory to be operational soonest to maximize its existence in helping free the already congested isolation units around the province.

By HENT
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis

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