COVID-19 testing laboratory in Tagum prioritized

TAGUM CITY—This city will have a testing laboratory specialized in COVID-19 detection soon.

The City Government of Tagum bared that it is allocating four million pesos for the establishment of a COVID-19 Testing Mobile Facility in the city which will be a product of an inter-LGU alliance among DavNor cities and the University of the Philippines Mindanao.

Local government units in Davao del Norte, including the provincial government, joined forces by pitching in money sourced out from its respective budget to build this testing facility inside Davao Regional Medical Center.

Aside from Tagum, the local governments of Panabo and Island Garden City of Samal donated three million pesos each, while the provincial government has set aside two million pesos to build the province’s first COVID-19 testing facility.

Mayor Allan Rellon said that LGU’s share was culled out from its share of the Bayanihan Grant from the national government.

He stressed that the establishment of a testing center will be a great help to heighten the city’s response against COVID-19.

The proposed laboratory will be equipped with a real-time polymerase chain reaction or PCR detection system and other equipment. The facility will also be designed to handle infectious materials based on guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of Health (DOH).

“We are looking at a time frame for the COVID-19 diagnostic laboratory to be operational by June,” said Dr. Lyre Anni Murao, a professor of virology at UP Mindanao and Director of the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao.

The facility will supplement the testing being done at the Southern Philippines Medical Center, currently the only recognized subnational referral center for the disease in Mindanao. CIO Tagum