Cotabato City (April 13, 2020)—Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) allocated a total amount of ₱14,135,500.00 fund to the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC) in the city for the procurement of medical and laboratory supplies to carry out diagnostic testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
To make it legally binding, Bangsamoro Government Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim and CRMC Chief of Hospital Dr. Helen Yambao signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Monday, April 13, at the Bangsamoro Government Center in Cotabato City.
Under the MOA, the CRMC will utilize the fund for the procurement of medical, laboratory supplies and reagents; improvement or renovation of the CRMC laboratory; salary of contractual laboratory personnel; training of personnel; and maintenance and other operating expenses.
“This will make them [CRMC] one step closer in being an accredited and capable laboratory to conduct the very important Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing for COVID-19 patients,” Ebrahim said.
Chief Minister Ebrahim noted that at the existing capabilities of hospitals in the region, the CRMC is the closest among the hospitals in meeting the requirements and technical capabilities of conducting Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or laboratory test for COVID-19.
“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.
Meanwhile, 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 stated that the donation will greatly help the BARMM and Region 12 in the isolation of COVID-19 patients as well as in the mitigation of the spread of the said virus in the community.
According to Dr. Yambao, CRMC was able to “see 148 patients, tested 19 PUIs, and diagnosed 6 positive COVID-19 patients” since the pandemic happened in the city.
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 thanked the Bangsamoro Government. (Bureau of Public Information)