By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental provincial administrator, Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, yesterday revealed that Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has asked the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) to divide the swab testing of swab samples to two molecular laboratories in the province in order to improve the releasing time of results.
Diaz said since the province’s second molecular laboratory located at the Valladolid District Hospital is already operational, Lacson is asking the NIATF if swab tests taken from local contact tracing efforts will be forwarded to the Valladolid laboratory instead, while the molecular laboratory at the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital (TLJPH) in Silay City will handle the swab tests for arriving travelers.
Diaz said the proposal would pave the way for the province to accept more flights at the Bacolod-Silay Airport. At the moment, passenger services at the said airport are limited to two flights only.
The provincial administrator also pointed out the TLJPH laboratory machines and personnel are already overwhelmed as they have to carry out 1,500 tests daily.
He also said the proposal could also further open the province’s economy, and they can start accepting leisure activities again.
The proposal has already been forwarded to NIATF Deputy Chief Implementor Ret. Major Gen. Mel Feliciano.
Earlier Diaz said all RT-PCR test samples taken in the southern part of Negros Occidental are now directed to use the Valladolid District Hospital instead of the TLJPH.
Collection time at the Valladolid District Hospital is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Diaz added that for private individuals the molecular lab will charge a fee, while contact tracing coming from local government units in the province will be for free./DGB, WDJ