Are you part of the rapid testing in Cebu City? Here’s what you need to know…

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Reporter/CDN Digital | May 05,2020 - 05:55 PM

AP photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Rapid Antibody Diagnostic Tests (RDT) will begin tomorrow, May 6, 2020 for Cebu City starting with Barangays Inayawan, Basak San Nicolas, and Basak Pardo.

Five teams will be assigned in Inayawan, six teams in Basak San Nicolas, and three teams in Basak Pardo for the first day of the mass RDT. 

If you have been selected as one of the individuals for the RDT, here are some guidelines you need to remember before going to the test centers:

The barangay should have informed you by now.

All the individuals who have been randomly picked by the Department of Health (DOH) must be informed beforehand as they are required to sign a consent form prior to the testing.

This was specifically specified in Executive Order No. 75 signed by Mayor Edgardo Labella on the May 5, 2020, that states “prior to extraction, the individual must sign a consent form that he or she voluntarily submits himself or herself to the extraction.”

An individual may decide not to get tested, and he or she may be replaced by a volunteer. The EO does not specify if the volunteer must be of the same household.

Ask your barangay where the extraction will be held

Barangay Inayawan will be holding its massive rapid testing at the barangay’s sports complex.

Since the number of individuals to be tested can range from 500 to 1000 in a barangay, some barangays opted to use their available space as long as they conduct proper social distancing and disinfection.

However, some barangays such as Barangay San Nicolas Proper are using their gyms to house evacuees or homeless individuals.

With this, the Department of Health teams can also go house to house to conduct the extraction as stated by Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, the chief pathologist of the DOH in Central Visayas, in her meeting with the barangay chiefs on Monday, May 4, 2020.

An individual who will undergo testing must ask their barangay where the extraction will take place.

One pair of gloves, one patient

Issues on city health officers not changing gloves during swab tests have caused fear from residents in Barangay Luz causing some of them to be skeptical of the testing.

Doctor Daisy Villa, the city health officer, already said in previous statements that for every patient, one pair of gloves is used.

This means the medical officer has to change gloves after extracting blood from one patient.

Barangays are also encouraged to purchase the gloves for the testing and provide their residents with one pair each to prevent cross-contamination.

Home Quarantine

After the blood has been extracted from the individuals, all specimens will go to a Testing Center in Cebu City where the samples will be tested for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The testing will be done for 24 hours a day.

Department of Health said those who have been tested will need to stay at home for quarantine until the test results have been released.

The test results will be encoded and sent to the Department of Health for analysis.

Those who prove positive in the RDT will be informed of the results and will be scheduled for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. They need to continue the home quarantine within this period.

Those who are negative for the RDT no longer need to continue with the quarantine.

Back to Normal

Mayor Edgardo Labella said on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, that the results of the RDT will be the scientific basis on the next move the city will take after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The data from the RDT will provide a picture of how far the infection has spread among the populace in specific barangays and in the city in general.

Without it, Labella said lifting or not lifting the ECQ is almost just a guessing game. He said the data is needed to keep the virus at bay. /rcg

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TAGS: Basak Pardo, Basak San Nicolas, Cebu City testing, COVID-19, ECQ, Inayawan, May 6, polymerase chain reaction test, rapid antibody diagnostic test

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