Baguio’s risk-based random mass testing reaches 25K

Baguio’s risk-based random mass testing reaches 25K

BAGUIO CITY — The city government was able to subject more than 25,000 residents to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, Mayor Benjamin Magalong said on Tuesday.

Magalong said residents from the different sectors of the community were randomly swab tested by a team from the City Health Services Office (CHSO) starting June.

The swab samples were processed at the molecular laboratory of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), a Department of Health (DOH) managed facility.

Magalong said swab testing is an important component of contact tracing to see who needs to be isolated or quarantined.

The risk-based mass testing will determine the actual situation of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in the city aside from looking for asymptomatic patients for isolation and treatment.

The last sector to be tested is the banking industry.

Based on a CHSO report, there were 439 personnel from 23 banks who were swab tested. A total of 28 tested positive, or a positivity rate of 6.38 percent.

“At least we have situational awareness,” he said.

The mayor said persons who have close contacts with a positive individual were also subjected to PCR testing.

He said that experience on contact tracing show that a Covid-19 case has an average of 37 close contacts who were identified within 24 hours, swab tested, and immediately quarantined to avoid further spread of the disease.

Those with flu-like symptoms who were asked to report to the Barangay Health Emergency Team (BHERT) for assessment or to a medical facility for check-up were also swab tested.

Returning overseas Filipino workers who have symptoms were also tested.

Magalong lauded the opening and accreditation of a private molecular laboratory in the city as additional swab testing facility.

On Tuesday, nine of the 16 positive cases recorded in Baguio were tested by the private molecular laboratory.

Magalong said regular swab testing of medical front-liners is a continuing activity as the city has sufficient PCR testing kits.

“We have sufficient supplies from donors. Actually, we are sharing the supply to nearby provinces of the Cordillera. By helping them, we are also helping ourselves,” the mayor said. Liza Agoot /PNA – northboundasia.com