BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Capitol is targetting at least 20,000 residents in the province for its rapid antigen testing starting this weekend, 8 October 2021.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said in a news release this is part of efforts to “speed up the contact tracing effort in selected cities and municipalities with the highest number of Covid-19 cases.
The release also said” (t)he areas covered for the rapid antigen testing are La Carlota City, Talisay City, Himamaylan City, Kabankalan City, Silay City, Pulupandan, Binalbagan, Toboso, San Enrique, and Don Salvador Benedicto. The cities and municipalities were determined based on the covid-19 daily attack rates for the past seven days.
The goal of the testing is to carry out as many tests as possible, thereby increasing the chance of detecting individuals, both those who are with symptoms and those who aren’t, making sure they self-isolate as soon as possible, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said.”
Local governments will conduct the tests” with training and support from the PHO in coordination with the DOH for licensing and accreditation. Allocation of the rapid testing kits will be at 1:10 or 10 test kits per one positive case through the Provincial Health Office.”
The rest of the release we quote in full:
Based on the guidelines, individuals who tested positive in the rapid antigen test will be isolated and managed as Covid-19 case but they will not be included in the daily count cases of the local government units pending the recommendation from the DOH.
Positive results, however, will be encoded by the LGUs to the Antigen Test Reporting Template of a licensed or participating laboratory within 24 hours. The daily totals and initial results will be submitted daily at 4 pm.
Meanwhile, asymptomatic close contacts that tested negative will be retested within 48 to 72 hours of initial negative result. All symptomatic close contacts will undergo same rapid antigen testing or RT-PCR upon the discretion of the local health office.
However, if the result of the symptomatic close contacts remain negative after the second rapid antigen test, they will be discharged after 10 days of isolation or the last three days of being asymptomatic.
Close contacts residing in the same household, on the other hand, will undergo rapid antigen test and those who tested negative will be again subjected to a repeat test or RT – PCR test upon the discretion of the local health office after five days. If the result in the rapid antigen test is negative again, a retest will be done within 48 to 72 hours for confirmation.
Testing will also be allowed to those individuals coming from areas with high positivity rate for the last seven days based on the report from the DOH-Epidemiology Bureau and people residing within closed or semi-closed institutions with presumptive outbreak. Only DOH approved and recommended Rapid antigen test kits will be used in this effort.
The Provincial Incident Management Team will evaluate the effectiveness of the expanded contact tracing and early detection measures and may propose the inclusion of other areas if the need arises.