DOH-7 to Cebu City: intensify info drive for strategic testing

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Reporter/CDN Digital | May 14,2020 - 05:59 PM
With Cebu City having the lowest turnout among the two other cities implementing the strategic mass testing, the DOH-7 is encouraging the city government to Scene from the Rapid Mass Testing being conducted at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Gym in Barangay Punta Princesa on Friday, May 8, 2020.

With Cebu City having the lowest turnout among the two other cities implementing the strategic mass testing, the DOH-7 is encouraging the city government to Scene from the Rapid Mass Testing being conducted at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Gym in Barangay Punta Princesa on Friday, May 8, 2020.

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City’s accomplishment in the rapid mass testing lags behind its neighboring cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu in the strategic rapid testing conducted for the tri-cities’ Project Balik Buhay.

In a virtual press conference, Doctor Mary Jean Loreche,  Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) revealed that Cebu City has the lowest number of individuals tested compared to the target.

Out of the targeted 17, 536 individuals, the city’s rapid test only collected samples from 4,501 individuals or only 25.67 percent of the target.

This is the lowest among the three cities despite Cebu City having the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the entire country.

Read more: OPAV: 43% mass tests turnout, 200 to get PCR test

Loreche said many factors had affected the participation of the public to the rapid testing, but the greatest factor would be the information dissemination drive done by the local government unit (LGU).

The chief pathologist said this did not mean that Cebu City was not doing its job, only that the city did not reach its target.

“Amo gyod gina-awhag sa among tri-cities is they need to be able to inform, give the information. You know at the end of the day, knowledge is power. When we inform our people, we explain to them, then they become participative because knowledge is what makes a person do what he is supposed to do,” said Loreche.

Read more: Volunteer medtech explains why one should get tested

Despite a low turn-out in the rapid testing, Cebu City still leads in the number of swab testing being conducted.

More than 4,000 swab tests have been conducted in the city’s affected barangays. Unlike the rapid test, the swab test results are confirmatory if an individual has the coronavirus or not.

The results of the rapid test will determine if an individual has the anitbody that fights the virus, an indication of its presence.

At least 63 individuals in Cebu City tested positive to these antibodies and will be swabbed to check if they have the coronavirus.

The last day or the rapid testing will be tomorrow, May 15, 2020. The remaining mountain barangays in the city will be the main target for this testing.

The general results of the project are expected to come in by tomorrow as well, allowing the DOH-7 to formulate the next steps for Project Balik Buhay.

Read more: Cebu City hopes to remain under ECQ

Using the scientific data from the three cities, the DOH-7 will recommend whether the city is now viable to graduate from the enhanced community quarantine to the general community quarantine. /dbs

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TAGS: Cebu City, COVID-19, rapid mass testing, strategic testing

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