Logistical issues in transporting coronavirus disease (COVID-19) specimens from Palawan to Manila for testing, has been causing long delays in the determination of test results.

In the case of a “person of interest” whose sample specimen was sent by local authorities to Manila via a commercial courier on Monday this week, the result has yet to be received by local health authorities.

Romalyn Racho, regional head of Health Education and Promotion Unit of Department of Health (DOH), explained Thursday that certain courier services in the province declined to carry the samples which subsequently resulted to Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) receiving it only yesterday.

“Geographical situation natin di po ganon kadali o kabilis ang lahat kahit gusto po natin. Minsan di natin control lahat ng situation may mga times na aayawan tayo ng forwarder at wala tayo magagawa dun kundi humanap ng ibang way. But the bottom line is we are doing all we can even the impossible way to make it happen,” she said.

The samples, which were taken from PUI #1 on Monday upon the referral of the supervising doctors at the private hospital, were forwarded to RITM for COVID-19 confirmatory test, anticipating results within 24-48 hours.

However, due to some courier issues which were not expounded on by the health department, the anticipated result is still pending.

“Sa kaso po na yan, Monday pa po talaga pinadala ‘yong specimen, pero kahapon lang po dumating sa RITM according to RITM. As to deep details, wala pa kaming information from the courier,” said Geraldine Perez, health education and promotion officer of the DOH.

Councilor Victor Oliveros, in an earlier statement, was keen on imposing heavy sanctions against said courier service in case it does not comply with the need for the public emergency.

“Titingnan natin kung pwede natin silang ipasara. This is a matter of public concern,” Oliveros added.