The provincial IATF holds a meeting at the VJR Hall, Palawan Provincial Capitol. || Image courtesy of Palawan Moving Forward

All inbound travelers to Palawan will soon be required to take an RT-PCR test, once the provincial government completes the setting up of a new testing laboratory in Barangay Irawan.

An update released by Capitol on Friday said the building that will house the Molecular Testing Laboratory of Palawan is “70-80 percent completed.” Once finished, it will house a new genExpert machine that the province government reportedly purchased for P5 million.

“Sakali aniyang maisakatuparan na ang operasyon ng nabanggit na molecular testing laboratory, balak ng Provincial Government na isailalim sa swab testing ang mga darating na inbound travellers sa Palawan upang agarang malaman kung posible bang carrier ng COVID-19 ang mga ito,” the provincial government statement said.

Currently, incoming travelers are subjected to rapid antibody tests upon arrival, and are only swabbed for an RT-PCR test if they are found reactive. The tests are then performed at the Ospital ng Palawan that hosts the province’s lone COVID-19 laboratory so far.

PHO Dr. Faye Labrador said that once the building is completed, the laboratoty will apply for a license and certified medical technologists will start their training on its use.