Rapid testing in cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, and Cebu slated to start May 4
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The rapid testing for about 46,000 individuals in the sitios (sub-villages) and barangays (villages) of the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue is expected to begin on Monday, May 4, 2020.
The rapid testing, which targets 10 percent of the total household population in the three cities, will determine the fate of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) after the national government-set expiration date of May 15, 2020.
At the start of the testing period, all 137 barangays in the three cities will be considered as red zones or infected. This classification, however, will change to orange or green zones once the result of the strategic testing in the villages will be available.
Those who will test positive in the rapid tests will be subject for confirmatory test using the gold standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.
Cebu City Councilor Raymond Garcia, who presented about the public sector strategic testing, said an increase on the number of cases is expected once the strategic testing rolls out.
However, Garcia said the public should not panic about the expected increase unless this will be coupled with high death toll or if the severe cases are overwhelming hospital capacity.
Regional Development Council (RDC-7) Chairman Kenneth Cobonpue, who represents the private sectors, said priority companies will also be conducting their own rapid testing for their employees as a pre-requisite for their going back to work.
Based on the timeline presented during the Project Balik-Buhay, the tri-cities target to shift to general community quarantine on May 21, 2020.
The priority companies are also expected to open on May 21 as testing for their workers will commence on May 14. /bmjo
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