Diagnostic center faces raps for medical trash

By Mar S. Arguelles


A medical diagnostic center in Virac town in Catanduanes is in trouble after the members of a village council filed on Monday, Jan. 31, a complaint for illegal dumping of medical waste at the village shoreline of Barangay Concepcion, the village chief said.


Facing charges for violation of RA 6969 otherwise known as “Toxic Substance and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990,” is the Excel Care Diagnostic and Wellness Center, a medical clinic in Virac, according to Barangay Concepcion chief Anthony Arcilla.


Arcilla in an interview said the complaint was filed with the Prosecutors Office and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).


He said village officials found 1,978 syringes and 2,000, blood samples tubes, Covid-19 and HIV test kits inside a garbage plastic bag where some of its contents were scattered at the shorelines of Purok 3 of the said village.


For this, seven children who found and played with the medical waste at the village shorelines reportedly got infected with Covid-19 after they have undergone antigen tests and were found positive for the virus, he said.


Arcilla said the incident prompted the village council to hold an investigation where Doctors Manuel Guerrero, the center’s chairman of the Board, Susana Abrina, Moneth La Corte, and Josefina Reyesm the clinic’s medical technologists were asked to shed light on the presence of clinical waste found in the village shorelines.


According to Arcilla the officers of the diagnostic center could not explain how the clinical waste had reached the village shorelines, which were some 500 meters away from the clinic in Barangay San Roque.


Meanwhile, as the hearing was being held, Arcilla said Reyes, the medtech was found to have been infected with Covid-19 after receiving her RT-PCR swab result.


These again prompted the 10 village councilors that attended the investigation to undergo antigen tests where none of them were tested positive for the virus, he said,


As for the children that were infected with Covid-19, eight of their family members are currently in isolation at their respective homes.