BACOLOD CITY: The Negros Occidental provincial government will allot P15 million for the purchase of monkeypox test kits as part of its preparations for possible cases of the highly contagious disease.

Rayfrando Diaz, provincial administrator, said, "We already need to purchase the test kits. We already provided for the budget for it."

Diaz also said the province's laboratory personnel will also train soon at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Metro Manila.

"Once our (schedule) comes, the medical technologists will be sent for training," he added.

Negros Occidental and Bacolod City have no recorded monkeypox infection yet.

Get the latest news
delivered to your inbox
Sign up for The Manila Times’ daily newsletters
By signing up with an email address, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Neighboring Iloilo City, however, has already reported the first positive case in Western Visayas.

Last week, Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, provincial health officer, said Negros Occidental would synchronize its monkeypox response with Bacolod for a uniform implementation of health protocols.

The RITM announced that the detection of monkeypox virus is run on the RT-PCR machines, similar to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) test.

Diaz had said with the RT-PCR machines in place, the molecular laboratory in Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital just needs to capacitate its employees on how to handle the samples taken from suspect monkeypox patients.

Monkeypox virus is transmitted through lesions, body fluids and respiratory droplets, according to the World Health Organization.