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Bing to seek SP okay for convalescent plasma lab

BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III

Mayor Evelio “Bing” Leonardia said he will seek the approval of the Sangguniang Panlungsod to allow him to enter into a public-private partnership agreement with the Bacolod Adventist Medical Center for the establishment of a molecular and convalescent plasma laboratory in the city.

Executive director Em Ang of the Emergency Operations Center said the agreement is now on its final stages as negotiations had been going on since last year.

Under the accord, the City will supply the reverse transcription polymerase chain test kits and other equipment needed, while BAMC will be in charge of the construction and the maintenance of the laboratory, Ang said.

Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, who is the presiding officer of SP, said they have not received a copy of the accord yet.

But he said that once the SP has been furnished a copy of the agreement, it will be referred to the Committee on Laws, chaired by Councilor Dindo Ramos.

Ang reiterated that the convalescent plasma from a person who has recovered from Covid is essential as it is an adjunctive life-saving therapy to hospitalized patients with severe or critical symptoms of the disease.

The plasma will help patients recover from the disease swiftly since it exerts an antiviral effect, suppressing virus replication before a patient has mounted his or her own immune responses, Ang said.

Currently, the supply of plasma given to patients in Bacolod, especially to indigents, comes from the Department of Health in Region 7, she said.

Ang also said the number of units of plasma being sent to Bacolod depends on the number of healed Covid cases in Cebu.

She added that the plasma supply from Cebu is not enough most of the time since they also send stocks to other provinces and the remaining ones are being utilized by the cities in the province.

In Bacolod, the Red Cross and several private hospitals supply convalescent plasma but the price ranges from P25,000 to P27,000 per unit.*

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