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Davao Norte’s first COVID-19 testing lab located in Tagum

Davao del Norte has allocated P4 million for a mobile testing facility to detect COVID-19 to be established in Tagum City.

The provincial government has already allocated P2 million pesos, while the local government units of Panabo City and Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) donated P3 million each to build Davao del Norte’s first COVID-19 testing facility, which will be put up inside the DRMC in Barangay Apokon.

The provincial government collaborated with various local government units of Davao del Norte, Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC), and the University of the Philippines-Mindanao (UPMin).

Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon bared that they will also take a portion of budget from the Bayanihan We Heal As One Act grant downloaded by the national government for the testing facility.

Rellon said that the establishment of a testing center will be a great help to improve the city’s response against COVID-19.

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

Currently, only the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City has the capacity of a PCR detection as it is also the only recognized subnational referral center capable of testing for COVID-19 in Mindanao.

Meanwhile, Dr. Lyre Anni Murao, the director of the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) in UP-Mindanao, said that the time frame for the COVID-19 laboratory is eyed to be operational by June.

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