The claims that the province has no ready COVID-19 test kits, most essentially those for RT-PCR method, are pure lies.
Gov. Arthur Yap and the Bohol Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) said the province has a necessary allocation of 200 PCR test kits daily, in effect exposing the fake news and false information.
The lies were peddled on radio and online by politician-paid propagandists.
“The number of testing kits is not the problem. The issue is that you cannot be tested if there are no symptoms coming out,” the governor said to the media.
In the videoconference among the governors and Department of Health (DOH) officials last week, the latter highlighted the symptoms-based prioritization of COVID-19 testing.
Yap said another instance that PCR testing has to be done is during direct contact tracing when there is a possibility of transmission so that the testing has to be prioritized.
Rapid antibody test kits have been allocated , too, even ever since the conduct of community testing through the government hospitals and local health offices in clustered municipalities, according to Technical Working Group (TWG) spokesperson Dr. CESAR Tomas Lopez.
“We have so far tested 762 individuals on our PCR test kits. On available stock, we have 1,238 test kits and we have 5,000 test kits arriving,” the governor said in the press conference at the Capitol on Friday.
Yap presented to the media the chart of the provincial government and BIATF showing the figures.
“This will coincide with the operation of the provincial PCR laboratory by July 15,” he said.
Necessarily, the governor said, Bohol will procure more test kits when it already has own competence and capacity to conduct testing.
This will complement with the anticipated operation of the molecular laboratory/testing center at the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH), which is designated by the DOH as Bohol’ s COVID-19-dedicated facility.
Also, already 2,700 rapid antibody test kits have been used up as distributed to the LGUs and used on the LSIs and OFWs upon completion of their 14-day quarantine and as a prerequisite before they are free to go home.
Yap said there are still 2,000 rapid antibody test kits available and 5,000 more are coming next week.
According to a misleading information peddled by Yap “haters and hitters” on paid broadcast, the province just “does not mind purchasing PCR test kits unlike the city,” which has “10,000” kits.
But a Tagbilaran City government staff refuted the group’s wrong claim, saying the the city only procured 2,800 PCR test kits.
The city even only has 5,000 rapid antibody test kits.
Meanwhile, in spite of his official/professional works and personal sacrifices in response to COVID-19, Lopez was maliciously ridiculed by the same group as a “doctor politician.”
COVID-19 workers said the TWG spokesperson and his fellows in medical advisory never require politics to be a protocol in pandemic responses, including the services to the OFWs/LSIs and management of disease suspects.