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Cavite's COVID-19 testing center operational next week -governor

Cavite's own testing center for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will be operational next week, Governor Jonvic Remulla said Friday.

Remulla said the province has installed a PCR-based testing machine, a donation from China, at a facility at the De La Salle University's Health Science Institute in Dasmariñas.

"Ang assurance ng DOH (Department of Health) sa amin ay, nag-inspect na sila, ang confirmatory test na lang para sa mga mag-ooperate, sabi nila by April 10 to 12 ay puwede na," he said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.

He said the machine is 99% accurate and was installed at a biosafety level 2 facility. It will be operated by certified medical technologists who are undergoing training on how to use the machine, he said.

Testing will be free and available to residents in Calabarzon, whose governors agreed to make Cavite their center for COVID-19 testing in the region, Remulla said.

He said the province has 892 patients under investigation (PUI) for possible COVID-19 infection and 57 confirmed cases.

"Pagdating ng next week po ay i-isolate na namin lahat ng PUI sa isang lugar at within one day, mako-confirm na namin kung positive or negative sila," he said in the radio interview.

"[Kung] positive sila ay ilalagay namin sila sa isang special quarters na doon magkakasama lahat ng mga positive cases. 'Yung mga PUI na negative ay papauwiin na," he added.

He said they could finish testing their PUIs in three days.

Remulla said the COVID-19 infection rate in Cavite has gone down since its province-wide quarantine began two weeks ago, but said he expects it to rise by 300 to 400% when they start carrying out their own tests.

The Philippines already has eight health facilities capable of testing for COVID-19, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

These are the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, the San Lazaro Hospital, the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, the Southern Philippines Medical Center, the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health, the Western Visayas Medical Center, and the Lung Center of the Philippines.

As of Thursday, health authorities have recorded 2,633 COVID-19 cases in the country. Of this number, 107 patients have died and 51 have recovered. --KBK, GMA News