LUCENA CITY--- A number of health workers including doctors and nurses from public and private medical facilities and barangays in Quezon province are set to undergo swab test procedures as they were exposed or got close contact with confirmed and suspected carriers of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Quezon at present has 53 confirmed carriers of the dreaded virus including 28 health workers and 7 deaths.
"Of the 28 health workers, 12 are personnel of the provincial government- run Quezon Medical Center (QMC)", said Dr. Grace Santiago who heads the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO).
Santiago said the swab test for the health workers has been set, but they are still waiting for the "green light" from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
RITM temporatily ceased accepting and processing specimem samples of COVID-19 patients and suspected cases from the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Quezon as 43 of its personnel have been infected by the virus.
"We don't think its advisable to let these health workers undergo swab test if there is no health research facility that is ready to accept and process their samples", said Santiago.
Santiago however said they are expecting that by today or tomorrow, RITM would again accommodate samples coming from Quezon.
At present, the IPHO chief said they still await the laboratory results of at least 266 samples still in process at RITM, 100 at St. Luke's Medical Center and 33 at Lung Center of the Phils.
She said there are still 200 samples ready to be sent to RITM the moment it re-opens.
Quezon Public Information Office chief, Ma. Janet Geneblazo Buelo said the latest confirmed COVID-19 carrier who died on Thursday is a 54 year- old man from Tayabas City.
"He has been suffering from various health problems and he was already weak before he tested positive for the deadly virus", said Buelo.