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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

DOST-Caraga provides COVID-19 detection equipment to BMC

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 12 (PIA) -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Caraga donated a unit of real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machine and one class II biological safety cabinet to the Butuan Medical Center (BMC).

The RT-PCR is one of the most widely used devices to help detect and confirm the presence of the coronavirus in swab samples from a suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patient.

The biological safety cabinet on the other hand is a containment device that would aid in the preparation of samples, protecting not only the sample material but also the laboratory worker from contracting the virus and the surrounding environment from contamination.

The total cost of the detection equipment is nearly P4 million.

“We provided BMC with the said machine because we will be establishing a molecular lab. With this, we can already perform confirmatory tests in Butuan City and probably could also cater to other provinces upon request,” said DOST-Caraga regional director Dominga Mallonga.

The local government unit (LGU) of Butuan is currently waiting for the accreditation of the molecular diagnostic laboratory of the BMC in order to proceed with the COVID-19 testing.

Apart from the machine donated by the DOST Caraga, two other top-of-the-line RT-PCR machines were also given by the Department of Health-Center for Health and Development (DOH-CHD) Caraga and LGU of Butuan.

As of August 11, the total COVID-19 confirmed cases in the Caraga region have reached to 372 cases. The highest number of 113 confirmed cases are from Butuan City.

“The RT-PCR machines and molecular diagnostic laboratory will certainly increase the testing capacity for Butuan City and the entire region,” said Mallonga.

Meanwhile, Dr. Caridad Burdeos-Plete, officer-in-charge medical director of the BMC, said that the laboratory testing capacity will help to rapidly  identify, treat, and isolate the positive patients. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)