Capiz opens outpatient molecular laboratory

The provincial government of Capiz formally inaugurated the Roxas Memorial Provincial Hospital (RMPH) outpatient molecular laboratory for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) tests in Barangay Lanot, Roxas City on December 15.

The molecular laboratory is the second in Capiz, the 12th in the region, and the 175th in the country, said Marlyn Convocar, director of the Department of Health (DOH) Center for Health Development Western Visayas.

In her message during the inauguration, Convocar said they would like to see a reduction in the Covid-19 case fatality rate (CFR) of Capiz by increasing the number of tests.

“If we expand our testing, naga examine si ciudad, naga examine si province (if the city and the province are conducting tests), (in) the end we can increase our denominator in computing the case fatality rate,” Convocar said.

She urged that access to the laboratory be expanded to those who need it, such as the northern towns of Iloilo, which are closer to Capiz than to Iloilo City where they have to coordinate with private hospitals.

Convocar also committed P1.5 million for the other needs of the laboratory, such as reagents.

She noted the need to start integrating other examinations in the laboratory.

“We should equip this laboratory to address any emerging diseases in the future, like dengue or other emerging diseases. Let us make sure that it will not become a white elephant,” Convocar added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Alex Nolasco, assistant head of the hospital management section, said the provincial government under Governor Esteban Evan Contreras has spent more than P200 million from both internal and external sources in the Covid-19 response.

“This means that the priority of this government is to combat the pandemic and we can see that (in) our Covid response due to that sufficient amount,” Nolasco said, adding that the laboratory would allow them to become self-reliant, reduce the waiting time, and hasten the release of sample results.

Contreras also affirmed that the laboratory would not just cater to Capiz but also accept specimens from Kalibo and northern Iloilo.

“As a Filipino, we really need to work together, help each other, for us to become successful in our fight against Covid,” he said. (PNA)