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Naga to build Covid-19 lab

NAGA CITY --- In 2 months’ time, the local government unit (LGU) here will be operating its own Covid-19 modular laboratory that would allow it to achieve faster processing of swab samples, the positive results of which will enable the Health Emergency Response Task Force (HERTF) to immediately implement measures to isolate patients and trace their close contacts thus preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the city.

In his press briefing on Monday, Sept. 7, Mayor Nelson Legacion told media practitioners that one of the factors why cases of coronavirus disease 2019 continue to increase was because of delay in the release of lab test results.

The city government will procure a Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) machine worth P13 million, the fund for which was sourced from the reverted appropriations for the Naga River Rehabilitation and Development Project under the local development fund.

The amount of P1.1 million was also generated from the same appropriation to buy reagents, kits and other laboratory supplies.

The procurement and establishment of the modular Covid-19 laboratory was authorized by City Ordinance 2020-084, which was enacted on joint and collective motion by the members of the city council on Friday, Sept. 4 and was approved by Legacion on Sept. 7.

The ordinance also approved the budgetary requirement needed to cover the expenses of certain offices of the city government when the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) reverted the amount of P33, 058,819 from the Naga River Rehabilitation and Development Trust Fund.

The reverted fund will cover the cost of the offices’ essential supplies, hiring additional personnel who will man the RT-PCR lab, expenses on rapid anti-body test kits, replenishment of stand-by fund for disaster response, expenses on cost of meals for quarantine patients, and frontliners.

Also included in the approved budget are the supplemental appropriation for overtime pay and night-shift differential of personnel in Naga City Abattoir, City Veterinary Office, and Market Enterprise and Promotion Office, including the appropriation for job order and contractual personnel.

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