COTABATO CITY—The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has signed a P14-million enabling fund transfer to upgrade the laboratory test capability of the Cotabato Regional Medical Center (CRMC) for suspected cases of coronavirus diseases.
Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Hadji Murad Ebrahim signed here Monday a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Dr. Helen Yambao, CRMC director, on the transfer and utilization of â‚±14,135,500 for hospital procurement of diagnostic tests lab equipment for COVID-19 cases, and for staff development.
Dr. Norodin Salam, executive director of BARMM’s Bureau of Public Information (BPI), said the MOA provides that the CRMC will utilize the fund for the procurement of medical, laboratory supplies and reagents; improvement or renovation of the CRMC laboratory; as well as for salaries of contractual laboratory personnel; training of personnel; and for maintenance and other operating expenses.
“This will make the [CRMC] a step closer to being an accredited and capable laboratory to conduct Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing for COVID-19 patients,” Ebrahim said.
Ebrahim noted that among the region’s hospitals, CRMC stands closest to full compliance with requisites and technical capability in conducting PCR or the laboratory tests for COVID19.
“Indeed, we are in difficult times. We are dealing with an enemy that we cannot see with our naked eyes, an enemy that has overwhelmed our healthcare systems worldwide. Through our cooperation, understanding, and strong faith in Allah, we are confident that we will surpass this challenge,” Ebrahim affirmed.
In her response, Dr. Yambao said: “This would be a great help to us considering how the COVID-19 has spread globally and in pandemic proportions.”
She also said the financial aid will greatly help BARMM and Region 12 in the isolation of COVID19 patients as well as in mitigation efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
According to Dr. Yambao, CRMC has attended to 148 patients, conducted tests on 19 persons under investigation (PUIs), six of whom have been diagnosed positive of COVID-19.
Moreover, she said, “The rest of the patients, the PUMs and the mild PUIs have not been tested, and were only advised to go on home quarantine for at least 14 days.”
“We very well know that there’s no effective cure yet nor a vaccine that can prevent COVID-19. We are truly grateful, not only for this equipment which can serve all of us, but also all the assistance you have given us,” Dr. Yambao, said as she thanked the Bangsamoro Government.