Zambo City mayor wants COVID-19 test lab up in less than 2 weeks
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Apr 11 (PIA) – It may take two weeks for the city to have its own COVID-19 testing facility, but Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar insists it must take shorter than that.
In a national network briefing on April 10 hosted by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, the mayor reported that the plans to establish the city’s testing facility within a laboratory operated by the Department of Agriculture (DA) here have already been set in motion. A team from the Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and World Health Organization (WHO) earlier inspected the DA laboratory and that in the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC), and decided to have the latter as the COVID-19 testing facility.
“Currently, all samples are being sent to RITM. We really need to have our own facility here since we cater to the whole region, including Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi,” the mayor said. With this current setup, confirmatory results take several days to arrive.
Local medical experts, said Mayor Climaco-Salazar are expecting a spike of COVID-19 cases, as more and more tests results come in, all the more the reason why the operationalization of the local testing facility must be done earlier than two weeks, the mayor added.
Secretary Andanar on the other hand said this concern will be brought to the attention of the DOH for urgent action.
The mayor also said that the local government plans to put up a testing facility at the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC), the city’s current COVID-19 referral hospital in case of the emergence of future emerging infectious diseases. (RVC/DIS/PIA9-ZAMSULTA)