Malolos City—After more than two months since the lockdown began last March 16, the province of Bulacan can finally breathe a sigh of relief from the arduous task of swabbing and bringing specimen to the RITM in Muntinglupa or at the Phil. Red Cross laboratory in Mandaluyong City.
Guiguinto Mayor Ambrosio ‘Boy’ Cruz, Jr, president of the League of Municipalities (LMP-Bulacan chapter) said this will soon change as the province is now hastening work on its first one-stop Covid-19 testing center in Bocaue town located just across the Philippine Arena.
“It’s all systems go. The Department of Health has already given clearance to the Korean project proponent which willrush the conversion of the dietary section at the on-going construction of the Joaquin Villanueva Medical Center, near the Bocaue Municipal Hall in Barangay Igulot,” Mayor Cruz said.
The P35-million project will have a complete laboratory and trained technical staff now undergoing training to conduct the highly-critical polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test used in detecting the novel corona virus or Covid19.
Mayor Cruz said all the 21 mayors of Bulacan have committed to chip in their share to buy some 30,000 test kits at a complete package cost of only P2,000.
“We will have a big savings for all Bulakenyos here,” he said.
Two weeks ago, the provincial government entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine Red Cross to buy 1,428 at a cost of P5-Million or P3,500 per test kit.
Mayor Cruz expressed gratitude to the family of Senator Joel Villanueva and Bocaue Mayor Joni Villanueva-Tugna (sister of Joel) for offering the JVMC hospital in helping the province cope up with the pressing need for PCR laboratories to ease the backlogs of mass-testing requirements.
At present, there are only 26 laboratories in the country which is capable of conducting more than 25,000 tests a day. Once operational, the Bocaue lab is capable of producing 2,000 results per day.
As of yesterday, there are 151 positive cases of Covid 19 in Bulacan; 29 deaths, 51 recoveries and some 2,000 suspected cases being monitored by the Provincial Health Office.
Mayor Cruz said he is hopeful that if the laboratory can start operations by the first week of June, he is optimistic that the 21 towns and 3 cities in the province can flatten the curve by the month of July.