BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
The operation of the molecular laboratory at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City that was inaugurated Saturday will strengthen the fight against the coronavirus disease, Dr. Marlyn Concovar, Department of Health regional director said.
She said the opening of more biolabs in Negros Occidental will reduce the turnaround time of specimen collection and examination.
Concovar cited Mayor Evelio Leonardia and the city officials of Bacolod for a “commendable job done” in assisting the DOH in setting up the laboratory.
She also commended CLMMRH medical director Dr. Julius Drilon for setting aside about P15 million to set up the lab.
“This biolab which we have long waited for is now a reality and hopefully a scientific and more effective way for us to fight COVID-19,” Leonardia said
“This means we can do more testing and expect a speedy release of results. Therefore, we can do contact-tracing as soon as possible in order to contain the virus,” he added.
Leonardia also underscored the protocols of “test, trace, and treat” in the fight against COVID-19. “The starting point, therefore, is testing. Here today, we have one of the answers to these three basic protocols on what we are supposed to do,” he said.
Concovar said the CLMMRH is one of only three Level 3-biosafety laboratories in the country, and the first outside Metro Manila; the other two, being the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), and UP National Institutes of Health, said.
Concovar commended Bacolod’s officials for allocating P20 million for the establishment of the facility as this was not included in the budget of DOH.
How to sustain the biolab falls on the DOH and Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya, she said.
Concovar committed P5 million initial assistance as a start.
Meanwhile, Drilons aid the CLMMRH biolab can perform 100 tests a day at the start, with a turnaround time of 72 hours or three days.
Gasataya, who also attended the inauguration, said the strong partnership of the City and CLMMRH made the biolab a reality.
Gasataya promised to support the request for additional funding for the CLMMRH-Bacolod City Biolab.
He added that his office was able to facilitate P15 million as medical assistance to Bacolod residents that will be allocated to CLMMRH, with another P20 million in August.*