COVID PATIENT RECOVERED. The old building of the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Tacloban City, the region's referral hospital for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). The Department of Health on Monday (April 13, 2020) said the region's second Covid-19 patient was already discharged from hospital in stable condition after second test turned out negative. (PNA file photo)

TACLOBAN CITY – The second coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patient in Eastern Visayas was sent home after a negative result for the second test, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday.

The 63-year-old man from Calbayog City in Samar was discharged from 13-day confinement at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) on Sunday, said John Paul Roca, DOH Eastern Visayas regional information officer.

“He was discharged in stable condition and advised to undergo a mandatory 14-day strict home isolation for further observation,” Roca said.

The patient from Calbayog City works at a community hospital in Tarangnan, Samar, allowing him to have close contact with the two hospital workers identified as the region’s 4th and 5th Covid-19 positive cases.

The result came out on Saturday as one of the 28 swab samples sent to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City for testing, which all turned out negative.

Roca said they were taken from suspected carriers of Covid-19 in the region, including those with severe acute respiratory infection.

As of Monday, Eastern Visayas has four confirmed cases. Two were released from confinement and two currently admitted at the EVRMC here, the region’s referral hospital.

The region also has 293 suspected Covid-19 carriers, of whom 34 are admitted and 259 are under strict home isolation.

Meanwhile, the proposed regional coronavirus testing laboratory is now on the second stage of the accreditation process.

Roca said representatives of the DOH central office, the World Health Organization, and the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila will visit the laboratory located at the old EVRMC building to check the correctness of the self-assessment last month.

The regional office cited that 90 percent of the safety infrastructure requirements have been done and 90 percent of the needed machines are already available.

Once the laboratory passes the physical requirements set by the review panel, the personnel who will operate the facility could undergo the special three-day training at the RITM.

After the training, the laboratory will start accepting samples for proficiency testing, wherein the first five positive results would be sent to the RITM for validation.

“If the results of the initial tests conducted here tally perfectly with the RITM, the laboratory will now be granted a full-scale implementation, running tests, and releasing results independently,” Roca said.

The Philippines now has 15 coronavirus testing laboratories, according to the National Task Force Covid-19. (PNA)