ILOILO City – The Department ofScience and Technology (DOST) will install six sample specimen collectingbooths in Western Visayas as part of efforts to improve the country’s testingcapacity for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections. “Amingilalabas ang mga karagdagang detalye ng mga napiling pasilidad na mapagkaloobanng mga collection booths sa mga susunod na araw (We will release in the coming days theadditional information about the facilities that will have collection booths),”he said. Mostpeople recover from the disease without needing special treatment, according tothe World Health Organization. COVID-19is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronaviruscalled SARS-CoV-2. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreakbegan in Wuhan City, China in December 2019. “As the IATF repeatedly stresses,improving our testing capabilities is one of the government’s top priorities,”he said in a virtual press conference aired on state-run PTV-4. The six booths are part of around 132such booths to be set up throughout the country. He added that there will be six samplecollecting booths each in Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region,Cagayan Valley, and Western Visayas. Metro Manila’s accredited testinglaboratories are UP National Institutes of Health and San Lazaro Hospital inManila; Philippine Red Cross and Detoxicare Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory inMandaluyong; Lung Center of the Philippines, St. Luke’s Medical Center andVictoriano Luna Hospital in Quezon City; The Medical City in Pasig; MakatiMedical Center; St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig; and Research Institute forTropical Medicine in Muntinlupa. Dela Peña said other collecting boothswill be established in Zamboanga Peninsula (10), Central Luzon (8), and CentralVisayas (7). Thesedroplets also land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people thencatch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes,nose or mouth. (PNA) Somepatients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat ordiarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some peoplebecome infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Bicol Region and Nothern Mindanao willhave five collection booths each, while Calabarzon, Davao Region, and CaragaRegion will have four specimen collecting booths, Dela Peña said. However,older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high bloodpressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop seriousillness. Other authorized testing centersoutside of Metro Manila are Baguio General hospital and Medical Center; VicenteSotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu; Southern Philippines Medical Center inDavao; Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City; and the Bicol Diagnosticand Reference Laboratory in Legazpi City. Nograles said more testinglaboratories will soon be operational, once they get certification from DOH. According to Cabinet Secretary KarloNograles, the establishment of specimen collection booths is intended tocomplement the COVID -19 testing centers nationwide that have been accreditedby the Department of Health (DOH). Dela Peña said three specimencollection booths will be set up each in Eastern Visayas and Soccksksargen,while two booths will be installed in Mimaropa. Nograles, spokesperson of theInter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases(IATF-EID), said DOST’s regional offices will partner with DOH in setting upthe sample collecting booths. The Philippines currently hasDOH-accredited 16 testing centers that can check possible COVID-19 infections. In a Facebook post, DOST secretaryFortunato dela Peña announced that around 34 specimen collection booths will beset up in Metro Manila. Peoplecan catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread fromperson to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spreadwhen a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. He added that the IATF-EID supportsthe accreditation of all testing laboratories, including the one beingestablished in Marikina City. Themost common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough.
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