Two hospitals in Negros Oriental apply as COVID test centers

Negros Oriental might have its own COVID-19 testing laboratories, soon! After all nobody has the monopoly of talents.

COVID-19 Incident Command System commander Dr. Liland Estacion, confirmed that internationally linked Silliman University Medical Center (SUMC), and the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH) have applied for accreditation Friday, April 3, 2020 with the Department of Health (DOH) as a sub laboratory of the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM).

Silliman University Medical center has connections abroad to purchase GeneXpert machines from the United States which can fast track testing and release of results after 45 minutes. Silliman U Medical Center (1902) was a former U.S. mission hospital.

This was the responses of Estacion when asked during the provincial council session of the capitol’s purchase of COVID-19 test kits.

Estacion said the test kits were in preparation should NOPH and SUMC be allowed to test COVID-19 suspected patients.

Vice-Governor Edwin Mark Macia, who is also a doctor, supports the purchase of test kits certified by the DOH and has passed World Health Organization standards.

Estacion also revealed that the province currently has 10 GeneXpert machines originally for tuberculosis patents but can also be used for testing.

Estacion hope that NOPH and SUMC are already included in the 47 medical instructions being assessed by DOH as possible additional testing centers throughout the country. Governor Roel Degamo has also called DOH-7 Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas about the two hospital’s accreditation.

As of this writing, there are only two testing centers in the Visayas namely Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Ceter in Cebu City and Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) in Iloilo City.

Last week, WVMC received 5,000 COVID- 19 test kits. Medical technologist from RITM are currently manning the WVMC testing center while local technicians are being trained at RITM in Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila.

Aside from test kits, the provincial government has purchased additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that could last for two to three months.

Some PPEs were distributed to NOPH and other private hospitals in Dumaguete City.- Ryan J. (By Ryan Cris Sorote)