“Risk Testing” Among PUI’s, Health Workers, Front Liners To Roll Out After ECQ


Davao Oriental:  The Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 is set to roll out a “risk testing” for the coronavirus slated after the lifting of the Enhanced Community Quarantine on April 19.

The upcoming risk testing will cover the remaining Persons Under Investigation (PUI), frontliners, health workers who are exposed to daily health hazards, and other vulnerable groups who are at a higher risk of getting contracted with the disease.

These groups include senior citizens with symptoms and history of exposure, those individuals with comorbidities or underlying health conditions such as HIV, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer, and women with a high-risk pregnancy.

Touted as a “gold standard test” for the coronavirus disease, the risk testing to be undertaken here will only use the test kits recommended by the Department of Health (DOH), which detects nucleic acid from the virus. This “definitive test” will help the province determine whether or not there are still individuals infected by the disease here and if the province is indeed COVID-free. “Until then, we cannot say we are a hundred percent COVID-free,” said Incident Commander and Action Officer of the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 Dr. Reden Bersaldo.

While there is a limited supply of test kits, the province guarantees that the risk testing will cover everyone belonging to those specific groups who are susceptible to catch the disease. Currently, the first batch of test kits consisting of 300 pieces of oropharyngeal (OPS) and 300 pieces of nasopharyngeal (NPS) swabs is set to arrive in the last week of April. An additional 600 test kits will follow to be used for the testing of the vulnerable groups in the upcoming risk testing phases in the province.

Dr. Bersaldo added that the province is prepared and is equipped with trained medical personnel who will do the swab testing and a system to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the tests.

As of today, the province has no new positive cases recorded for COVID-19 while all three previous positive cases have fully recovered. In addition, there are already 34 PUIs who were already tested, 23 of which have tested negative while 8 are still awaiting results. All persons who were exposed to the three previous cases from the City of Mati are all accounted for through the efficient contact tracing of the City and Provincial surveillance teams. Dr. Bersaldo reminded Davao Oriental residents not to be complacent and not be caught off guard.

Meanwhile, Governor Nelson Dayanghirang appealed to the people of Davao Oriental to cooperate with the authorities and abide by the provincial guidelines in the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine to prevent the spread of the dreaded disease. (kld-PIO)

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