Cebu City pooled swab test yields 0.5 positivity rate

The pooled coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) swab test for the vendors at the Carbon Public Market here has yielded only 0.5 percent positivity, the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas reported on Friday.


Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH-7 chief pathologist and spokesperson for Covid-19, said in a press briefing at the Cebu City Hall that a total of 754 individuals participated in the pooled swab test that started on Wednesday (Sept. 30).


On Wednesday, swabbers from the Cebu City Health Department collected 294 samples, 266 on Thursday and due to bad weather, they only took 194 samples on Friday.


Of the 754 individuals, only four tested positive of Covid-19, Loreche said.


The four patients were already placed in isolation for the observance of the symptoms of coronavirus, she added.


During the swab collection on Thursday, Loreche said a batch of five patients tested positive for the virus. But after a repeat of the test, the result turned out to be negative.


“The purpose of the pooled swab testing is for surveillance but not to diagnose for coronavirus,” she said.


Mayor Edgardo Labella said the pooled swab test at the Carbon market is the first of its kind in the country as “it is being done in tandem with blood analysis”.


“We are going in the right direction. We are the first LGU (local government unit) to do this kind of pooled swab testing,” the mayor said.


Loreche explained that the swab test will detect Covid-19 infections while the blood analysis will determine the “status of the immune system”.


“The reason why we chose the Carbon market is because we think and we believe that Carbon is one of the busiest areas here in the city and there is so much foot traffic and people here are going in and out,” she said.


Source: Philippines News Agency

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