Expert says Siquijor LSI coming from Cebu City may have been in early stages of infection upon leaving

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | October 02,2020 - 08:00 PM

Siquijor province. (Google Imagery)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The locally stranded individual (LSI) who recently went home to Siquijor from Cebu City and proved positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may have already been infected with the disease before the patient left Cebu, but the virus then has remained undetected then.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the city assured that before the LSI left Cebu, the patient proved negative to the swab tests. The patient was swabbed as a requirement for going home to Siquijor.

Dr. Bryan Lim, an infectious disease expert, said the patient might have been in an early stage of infection when swabbed; thus, yielding no results from the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

Read more: Siquijor’s 4th COVID patient is LSI from Cebu

Lim said that the virus might take up to five days to incubate before becoming infectious and another three days for the patient’s body to actually show symptoms.

“This is the limitation of our testing capabilities. There is no way to detect the virus at its onset or very early stages, that is why we do a re-swab before the quarantine period ends,” he said.

With this, he reiterated the importance that all LSIs must be quarantined upon arriving in a local government unit for a period of time up to 14 days unless the person shows symptoms.

The Cebu City government has already ordered a swab of all LSIs arriving in the ports in Cebu City to avoid the further spread of the COVID-19 in the city.

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, the chief pathologist of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), said that the local government units must formulate a strategy to ensure that the entry of the COVID-19 into their localities would be prevented.

Depending on the testing capability of a province, city, or town, LSIs may be quarantined for 14 days and swabbed before the quarantine ends, or swabbed immediately upon arrival to the locality.

“It really depends on the LGU on how they will handle the LSIs and make sure that they will not be carriers of the virus,” said Loreche.

The LSI coming from Cebu City is the fourth COVID-19 case of Siquijor, which remained unaffected by the pandemic during most of the quarantine period in the country. /dbs

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TAGS: Cebu City, LSI, Siquijor

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