Twenty-two senior medical students of the Iloilo Doctors College (IDC), including an index case, were found positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and are on strict quarantine in their homes or boarding houses.
Dr. Marigold Calsas of the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) of the City Health Office (CHO) said on Friday they could not yet say if the transmission has been contained but the school has been carrying out mitigation measures.
IDC intends to subject to a repeat swab those exposed, Calsas said in an interview.
“We have individual tracing and individual advises but the school supervises them so the school manages them depending on their protocol,” she said.
The index case was the classmate of those infected, who first showed symptoms before their June 8-9 practical examinations.
The student went home to Antique on June 9 after getting a positive result of the antigen test and subsequently confirmed by a swab test.
Calsas said that there were 94 of them in a class who were divided into four teams for their group study before their practical exams.
The group of the index case immediately submitted to swab test on June 12 where 11 of them, who already showed symptoms, were found positive.
The following day all those exposed to the positive cases were placed in quarantine for observation. A test result released on June 15 showed additional 10 positive cases but all asymptomatic.
Others were negative but Calsas said that they could no longer trace since the school identifies who will be subjected to the swab test.
There is no fear of infecting patients as the students were quarantined and subjected to the swab test before they were deployed for hospital duty, she added.
The affected medical students were also fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
She said other Iloilo medical schools also experienced transmissions before but were contained.
Calsas, however, lamented that while others have realized their social responsibility once they are infected, it is ironic that those in the medical field self-medicate, take antigen tests, go on duty while experiencing symptoms, and will report to authorities only if they are already feeling well.
Source: Philippines News Agency