By Pigeon Lobien
BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Tuesday said they are now scrambling to have ample test kits in medical facilities to fight the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) here.
As of May 5, two more patients have been recovered and were discharged, bringing a total of 15 recoveries in one month.
A total of 14 patients remain at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC).
The city has registered a single death from the virus.
“Our problem is testing issues… we don’t have testing kits,” Magalong told a media interview city hall.
The BGHMC, one of the accredited testing centers in the country, was able to get 3,000 test kits last week, 350 which were used for residents.
“Lahat ubos na (There’s nothing left),” Magalong said.
Magalong said they get just as much as test kits as those in the three regions the center caters to – Regions 1 (Ilocos Region), 2 (Cagayan Valley) and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), which is home to about four million people.
On Monday, city councilors raised the need to fast-track the purchase of the needed test kits.
The councilors also adopted a resolution urging the Department of Health and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for the release of test kits which SM donated to the city.
Meanwhile, Magalong said the city allotted PHP10 million to bu 10,000 test kits from the University of the Philippines.
However, these test kits may not be released due to the quality control issue, according to the RITM.
Magalong said that only 3,000 test kits can be availed from the budget because of the required consumables.
Assistant city health officer Dr. Celia Flor Brillantes said that peaking of the disease was supposed to be last April 30, but the lack of test kits hampered health officials from determining the real picture.
She said the city needs at least 140,000 tested people from the more than 400,000 population to determine the real extent of the contagion. (IA/PNA)