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Davao City, Philippines

COVID-19 testing lab to be built in Tagum

May 24, 2020 - Sunday 6:05 PM by Ruth Palo

Article Banner Image NO MORE CYCLING. A file photo shows a girl riding her bicycle around the Energy Park in Tagum City. Parks and public places like this one have closed in the province of Davao del Norte under the enhanced community quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19. MINDANEWS

DAVAO CITY — A P12-million COVID-19 testing laboratory facility will soon be established in Tagum City, Davao del Norte in response to the government’s call for all local government units (LGUs) to utilize all available measures to combat the pandemic.

Tagum City Information Officer Bryan Louie Lapat told the Mirror that the facility will be established inside the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) complex in Barangay Apokon, Tagum City.

He said the establishment of the facility is needed in anticipation of more COVID-19 cases in the province and to improve the city’s response against the virus.

“It will also help decongest the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) because it can already cater individuals from their neighboring provinces such as Davao de Oro and Davao Oriental,” he added.

Lapat said the construction of the building immediately follows the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing of the project on May 19 by Governor Edwin Jubahib, DRMC Medical Center Chief Dr. Bryan Dalid, University of the Philippines Mindanao (UP Min) Chancellor Dr. Larry Digal, Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon, and private partner Maer Summit Konstrukt.

He said the city government has allocated P4 million, the provincial government also committed to give P2 million, while the LGUs of Panabo City and Island Garden City of Samal (IGCS) have donated P3 million each for the project.

“The target completion of the project is expected to finish by August,” he said.

Lapat said the facility will be equipped with a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection system and is designed to handle infectious materials as approved by the underlying guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and DOH.

At present, only SPMC in Davao City has the capacity for PCR detection and is also the only recognized subnational referral center capable of testing for COVID-19 in Mindanao.