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DOH suspends Covid-19 testing at Eastern Visayas lab

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TACLOBAN CITY – The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) confirmatory testing at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center molecular laboratory here has been put on hold due to the unavailability of extraction and detection kits, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.

In an advisory, DOH 8 (Eastern Visayas) Director Minerva Molon said the delivery of the kits has been delayed due to Typhoon Ambo.

“These kits used in processing and identifying the virus are still at Villamor Airbase in Manila. They have not been delivered yet since there are no available flights in and out of the region,” Molon said.

However, the DOH regional surveillance unit will still accept samples from different health facilities for proper identification and storage.

As of Wednesday, 536 swab samples were pending at the regional Covid-19 testing center, according to the DOH.

“We encourage the local government units to support us by providing test kits as we increase the number of tests in the region,” Molon said.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, a total of 26 cases have been confirmed in the region, the lowest in the Visayas, and the fourth-lowest in the country, the DOH said.

Of the total confirmed cases, 21 are from Tarangnan, Samar; two from Burauen, Leyte; and one each from Catarman, Northern Samar, and the cities of Catbalogan and Calbayog, both in Samar.

To date, the region has 18 active cases confined in hospitals; four are u