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1,900 independent tests for COVID-19 completed by SPMC

The Southern Philippines Medical Center has already conducted 1,900 COVID-19 tests as of April 11.

“We’re actually second to RITM (Research Institute of Tropical Medicine). Our numbers of examined or tested patients (are) much more than any other hospitals in Luzon. I think we are number two in doing more tests here in SPMC,” chief of hospitals, Dr. Leopoldo Vega, said in a virtual press conference on Monday.

He said that out of the 1,908 total number of tested individuals, 103 individuals or 5.40%, tested positive for COVID-19. These 103 individuals were tested using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines.

As of April 13, SPMC has a total admission of 92 probables with 13 COVID-19 positive patients.

These 92 probables are divided between pediatrics and adults. He said those who died from the virus mostly had co-morbidities or were immunocompromised.

The oldest mortality recorded was a 75-year-old person with hypertension, diabetes, and poor kidney function, while the youngest was an 18-year-old who had cancer and was immunocompromised.

“Usually, those who recovered from COVID-19 are those that are very healthy, young and those who have no co-morbidities. Co-morbidities are big variables in terms of this disease,” he said.

He said that some of those who tested positive ranges from 72 years old (oldest) to toddlers. The median age is 42 years old. For pediatrics, the youngest recorded was four years old.

“Those who survived usually have mild to moderate symptoms. Right now, these people are improving clinically and have better quality of life,” he said.

He also said that early detection is a factor to survive COVID-19 as treatment is immediately conducted during its early stage. “We can really say that we have good clinicians who can manage the patients well,” he said.

The SPMC chief also said that there has been a good number of recoveries since there are already 41 who recovered out of the 74 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city as of April 13.

“The condition is controlled in a certain way because for the last two weeks we have started not to see any kind of surge,” he said. “I think, if there are more recoveries then we can say that we did have control of COVID-19.”

But, he said interventions and preparations are still tightened in case there will be another wave.

Vega also clarified that no tests were done during Saturday and Sunday as he said, the two medical technicians who are assigned to do PCR testing had taken their break.

“We only have two med techs in SPMC doing PCR molecular biology laboratory testing. They work 16 hours (a day) and we cannot strain them that hard especially during Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. They took a break during those days,” he said.

But, Vega added that there were tests conducted during Thursday and Friday. Testing already resumed on Monday, April 13.

“We cannot just put our guard down because there might be a second wave, but we have to maintain some guarantees on how we behave and how we act during these trying times,” he said.

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