Rains to continue, Ambo to exit Monday

Bicol temporarily halted testing coronavirus
A facility in Bicol temporarily halted testing coronavirus samples after a typhoon damaged its laboratory equipment, a regional health official said Friday.

BY 8 a.m. on Monday, Tropical Storm Ambo will be 360 km. northeast of Basco, Batanes and will exit the Philippine area of responsibility in the afternoon.

Ambo will continue to bring rains over large parts of Luzon and maintain its strength over the coastal waters of Santa Cruz in Ilocos Sur on Saturday.

In its severe weather bulletin issued at 8 a.m., the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said “Ambo” had maximum sustained winds of up to 75 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 125 kph.

It said “Ambo” was moving north-northwest at 20 kph and will be 105 km. west-southwest of Basco, Batanes by 8 a.m. on Sunday.

By 8 a.m. on Monday, it will be 360 km. northeast of Basco, Batanes and will exit the Philippine area of responsibility in the afternoon.

Ambo will bring moderate to heavy rains over the Ilocos, Cordillera, and Cagayan Valley regions, and the northern portions of Aurora and Zambales provinces.

The tropical storm will also bring rains with gusty winds over Zambales, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, and the rest of Cagayan Valley.

The rest of Central Luzon will have cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers due to localized thunderstorms.

The temperature in Metro Manila will range from 24°C to 32°C; Baguio City, 17°C to 19°C; Lipa City, 25°C to 32°C; Puerto Princesa, 27°C to 35°C; Metro Cebu, 27°C to 34°C; and Metro Davao, 27°C to 33°C.

Meanwhile, a facility in Bicol temporarily halted testing coronavirus samples after a typhoon damaged its laboratory equipment, a regional health official said Friday.

Ernie Vera, Department of Health-Bicol director, said in a statement that the Bicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory “will not accept samples at this time until further notice.”

Vera said the exhaust duct of the biosafety cabinet, which is a vital machine for COVID-19 testing, was destroyed in the aftermath of tropical storm Ambo.

“Samples cannot be processed until the exhaust duct is fixed,” he added.

He said 146 specimens will be sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City.

“This is to ensure that all samples are tested within the allowable life span of the specimen,” Vera added.

The official said they are “finding measures to fix the problem as soon as possible.” PNA, CNN Philippines