Call for Caraga Regional Hospital as testing, screening center earns support
BUTUAN CITY, April 13 — In a bid to safeguard the welfare of all Caraganons during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, all governors in Caraga Region have been requested to urge all their Sanggunians to pass a resolution supporting the immediate establishment of a molecular laboratory in the Caraga Regional Hospital (CRH) to serve as a COVID-19 testing and screening center for the Caraga Region.
This is the response of the Chairperson of the Regional Task Force for COVID-19 One Caraga Shield, Agusan del Norte Governor Dale B. Corvera, to the appeal of Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence “Law” Fortun to collectively lobby for this proposal as part of a nationwide measure for mass testing.
Gov. Corvera also said that the mayors in Agusan del Norte have already been advised to join the call by passing resolutions pushing for the said COVID-19 testing and screening center.
The call to equip and capacitate the CRH to become a testing and screening center in Caraga Region gained public support in social media following the statement aired by Rep. Fortun urging the Department of Health to put up the facility and appealing to governors, mayors and representatives to collectively call upon the health department to promptly act on the urgent need.
Rep. Fortun emphasized the importance of having a regional testing and screening center to enable mass testing in the expansive Caraga Region, which is composed of five provinces and six cities with several municipalities remotely situated.
He noted that, at present, obtaining test results for patients from Caraga is substantially delayed as collected specimens still have to be brought to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City which is already swamped with the demands of the Davao region alone. He said that having a COVID-19 testing and screening facility in the CRH will not only ensure faster results but also effectively reduce the burden and backlog of the already overwhelmed SPMC.
“While there is still only one confirmed case in Caraga, the number of PUIs (Patients Under Investigation) is continuously rising, and recent rapid tests revealed several presumptive positive cases needing immediate confirmatory tests. There is no way we can determine the real numbers unless we pursue mass testing. This also gives our health care system a clear direction on immediate and appropriate interventions to be made,” Fortun said. (Lawig Katawhan/PIA Agusan del Norte)