CITY OF MALOLOS – The Provincial Government of Bulacan (PGB) is expected to sign a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) for the acquisition of 1,428 swab test kits worth P5 million for the mass testing of the province’s suspected COVID-19 cases and medical frontliners.
This was the announcement of Governor Daniel R. Fernando on the 6th Inter-Agency Task Force meeting held at the Official Residence, Capitol Compound in this city yesterday.
The governor said that it will only take 48 hours for the PRC to release the result of the said swab tests because it will be analyzed on the PRC Molecular Laboratory in Mandaluyong accredited by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
Fernando said that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by Vice Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado held a special session to discuss the memorandum of agreement with PRC for immediate approval of Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
“Ngayon, kinakailangan na madalian tayo. Kinakailangan bago mag-May 15, kung hindi man natin mapatay lahat ng problema natin sa COVID, kontrolado natin o malaki na ang nabawas,” the governor said.
The local chief executive also announced that the Bulacan Medical Center new building with three floors, which was designated as the Provincial COVID-19 Center, will start operating on Friday, May 1, 2020.
He said that some of the rooms in the COVID facility will be dedicated to Bulacan health workers to ensure utmost care for them especially that they are most likely to acquire the virus.
Additionally, the governor has tasked the Incident Management Team under the Provincial Health Office-Public Health to thoroughly identify which COVID-positive patients had acquired the virus in the province to have a clear and better understanding of the current situation.
“Kapag ang address ay Bulacan, sa Bulacan na nakadatos ‘yun. Ang tanong, nasa atin ba? Wala naman sa atin. Ang dapat, kung ano ang local transmission, doon tayo dumatos,” Fernando said.
The task force has also agreed to require Bulakenyo Overseas Filipino Worker repatriates to undergo additional 14-day quarantine on any provincial, city or municipal quarantine facility to ensure that they are free of the deadly virus.
Incident Commander and PHO-PH Head Dr. Jocelyn Gomez reported that they have drafted the Provincial Team for the Management of the Dead during the COVID-19 pandemic for the approval of the governor.
On the other hand, Bulacan Provincial Police Office Acting Provincial Director Police Colonel Lawrence Cajipe suggested that Enhanced Community Quarantine violators especially those who are arrested due to gambling, drinking and drug-related cases to be removed on Social Amelioration Program beneficiaries.
As of April 28, 2020, the province has reported 112 confirmed positive cases with 19 recoveries and 24 deaths. Also, there are 147 probable and 594 suspected cases in Bulacan.