Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucillo Bayron announced yesterday, August 30, at the commissioning of the city’s first, as well as first in the MIMAROPA region, molecular diagnostic laboratory that there is no stopping the COVID-19 Delta Variant from entering the city.
“…nakikita ko hindi ata kaya natin i-stop yung Delta variant from coming in. Ang maganda lang eh we should be ready to face itong Delta variant na ito na meron tayong mas maganda at mas mataas na capability to face it kabilang dito yung molecular laboratory natin,” Bayron said.
According to Dr Ricardo Panganiban, City Health Officer and Puerto Princesa City COVID-19 Vaccination Council (PPC-COVAC) Chairman, him and Puerto Princesa Incident Management Team (IMT) Commander Dr Dean Palanca acknowledged that the city needed its laboratory as the only operational facility is the Ospital Ng Palawan where the cartridges are limited and the whole province of Palawan relies on for an RT-PCR testing.
“…’yung operational lang nun na nagko-conduct ng RT-PCR ay ONP lang. Lahat po tayo dito sa province, sa Puerto [Princesa City, at] lahat ng munisipyo sa ONP lang lahat nagre-refer pag nagpapa-request tayo ng RT-PCR [test],” Panganiban said.
“So, sabi nga ‘yan ni Doc Dean ‘kailangan talaga natin na may sarili tayo’ para hindi na po tayo nakikipag-unahan ng slot sa ONP kasi talagang limitado din ‘yung cartridge…Yung gusto natin sana eh molecular lab talaga [na] RT-PCR, hindi siya GeneXpert. Ito po kasi ang gold standard talaga ‘no,” he added.
He also shared that many Local Government Units (LGU) in the country as well applied for the above-mentioned facility but not all was given a license to operate by the Department of Health (DOH) as there is a rigorous process before being granted one.
“…Stage 1 to 5 po ang dinaanan natin. Actually,…may mga nauna pang LGU sa atin sa MIMAROPA [at] kahit sa Metro Manila po may mga naunang LGU sa atin na nagpagawa ng molecular lab pero hindi po yan sila nabigyan kaagad ng license to operate…
Mayor Bayron also shared that the Ace Medical Center located along the South National Highway Brgy. San Pedro is nearing its completion. And is part of the LGUs preparation in case of surge of COVID-19 cases especially Delta variant running rampant across the country.
“Very soon yung Ace Hospital natin mag-o-operate na rin. That will add to yung ating hospital beds para medyo mas maganda yung ating services sa mga magkakaroon ng COVID-19,” Bayron added.