Agusan governor expects COVID-19 testing capacity to help stem infections
PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Philippines — Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago Cane Jr. welcomed the operation of a molecular laboratory for COVID-19 testing in the province, expressing hope this would help improve the fight against the disease.
The laboratory was established at the D.O Plaza Memorial Hospital here. It can generate test results within 24 hours.
The laboratory has two testing equipment although only one is still operational.
Previously, swab samples were sent to the Butuan Medical Center in Butuan City for testing and would take up to four days before results are known.
On Jan. 19, the laboratory at the D.O. Plaza Memorial Hospital processed 61 swab samples and the results were available within seven hours wherein eight individuals were found positive for the coronavirus.
“I certainly hope that with early detection is vital in improving the chances of patients to survive, “ Cane told the Inquirer in an interview.
The provincial government has been aggressive in testing residents using the COVID-19 antigen test kit, making it compulsory for employees of the provincial capitol.
Cane said, however, that the province woud do away with the antigen tests until supplies at the DO Plaza Memorial Hospital could be utilized to avoid duplication in spending.
He said the use of QR code in contact tracing ensures that those found positive with the virus and their close contacts “can be attended to the soonest and put in quarantine or isolation facilities to prevent full blown transmission.”
The COVID-19 laboratory in the province is the fourth established in the Caraga region following the Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City, and Butuan Medical Center and MJ Santos Hospital in Butuan City.
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