Wednesday, 08 April 2020 08:56

RITM, WHO inspect facilities in Region 10 for COVID-19 testing

Written by Regina Arquiza

April 8, 2020 — Experts from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have recently conducted site inspections and initially reported that Region 10 has adequate facilities for COVID-19 testing.


According to Dr. Ian Gonzales, head of the Infectious Disease Cluster of the Department of Health - Northern Mindanao, they started the inspections yesterday with the Tuberculosis (TB) Reference Center and today with the COVID-19 regional referral hospital, the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC).  


“So far, the initial reports tell us that we have adequate facilities for COVID-19 testing, because we have a TB facility already that is capable of handling airborne pathogens,” Gonzales said in a press conference on Wednesday, April 8, at the City Hall.

“What we still need to work out are the training of staff and the availability of the machines because so far our machines from the TB lab are not compatible for COVID testing,” he added.

The final findings of the inspections will be given at the end of the week. 


In the meantime, Gonzales reminded the public to continue practicing simple individual interventions to avoid the spread of the virus, such as maintaining physical distance, washing of hands regularly, wearing of a mask when sick or when going to crowded places, and staying at home as much as possible.