The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday urged local government units in Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) to adopt and comply with the interim guidelines in the expanded testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
DOH-Eastern Visayas Director Minerva Molon reiterated that the expanded testing covers all individuals at high risk of infection such as those with travel history and exposure to areas with confirmed cases and health workers with possible exposure, whether or not with symptoms.
For those local governments, institutions, and offices who are conducting rapid-antibody tests to suspect carriers, the DOH recommends that those with reactive results undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine or isolation.
“If they develop symptoms, they will undergo the confirmatory testing at the regional testing laboratory at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center here,” Molon said.
The health department has categorized into four groups the individuals at high risk of infection according to their need for testing.
The priority group (Subgroup A) are patients and health workers with severe symptoms and exposure to coronavirus patients or areas with confirmed cases.
Second priority (Subgroup B) are those with mild symptoms, vulnerable, and have exposure to coronavirus patients or areas with confirmed cases.
The third group (Subgroup C) are those with mild symptoms and exposure to coronavirus carriers or areas with confirmed cases and the last priority group (Subgroup D) are those with no symptoms but have exposure to coronavirus patients or areas with confirmed cases.
“Due to global shortage of testing kits and limitation in local capacity for testing, there is a need to rationalize available tests and prioritize groups,” she added.
Eastern Visayas remains under general community quarantine until May 31, along with other areas across the region with a low transmission rate of the Covid-19.
Since the outbreak, a total of 26 cases have been confirmed in the region, the lowest in the Visayas, and the fourth-lowest in the country, the DOH said.
Of the total confirmed cases, 21 are from Tarangnan, Samar; two from Burauen, Leyte; and one each from Catarman, Northern Samar, and the cities of Catbalogan and Calbayog, both in Samar.
To date, the region has 18 active cases admitted in hospitals, four under 14-day home isolation after their latest samples have tested negative, and four full recoveries with zero death.
Source: Philippines News Agency