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TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The city is offering free reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests in the city-owned molecular laboratory for symptomatic Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients and their close contacts to help ease the burden of the ongoing pandemic to their families.
City Administrator Arnold Tenedero disclosed that the free swab tests for symptomatic patients and close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases is not only applicable to residents of the city but also to those coming from other municipalities in Kalinga as part of the local government’s corporate social responsibility in helping address the increasing need for the people to undergo the gold standard in ascertaining whether or not an individual has contracted the deadly virus.
However, he disclosed that the RT-PCR test will not be free for leisure travel and those travelling abroad to allow the local government to be able to generate resources that will maintain the operation of the local government-unit-run molecular laboratory which started its operations over 2 months ago.
Tenedero explained that the decision of Mayor Darwin C. Estran֮ero to give for free the RT-PCR tests during the initial operation of the molecular laboratory only demonstrates his concern for the health and welfare of not only the city residents but also those coming from other municipalities of Kalinga.
The city administrator claimed that the prudence exercised by the local government in the utilization of the earlier Bayanihan funds that had been provided by the national government to the local governments allowed the city to be able to save a substantial amount which was used to construct the city’s 100-bed zone-type isolation facility in barangay Agbannawag and the completed molecular laboratory.
According to him, the ability of the local government to wisely spend the Bayanihan grant that was given by the national government last year negates the continuous misinformation being circulated by the critics of the present administration.
Earlier, the local government earmarked some P25 million for the construction of the city’s 100-bed zone-type isolation facility that is completed with amenities such as air conditioning units, wifi among others and another P15 million for the put up of the city-owned molecular laboratory that is now serving the RT-PCR requirements of suspected and probable COVID-19 patients from the different parts of the province and even neighboring towns in Isabela and Cagayan.
Tenedero stipulated that the molecular laboratory can perform some 160 to 200 RT-PCR tests daily and the swab test results can be readily available within the day that is why people who are required to undergo the said test will not be waiting for several days undergoing isolation and waiting for the release of their swab test results.
He pointed out that the existence of the city-owned molecular laboratory also contributed in allowing contact tracers to immediately employ proactive measures to contain the further spread of the deadly virus among the family members and relatives of the confirmed COVID-19 cases. By HENT