Antigen self-testing to barangays

Antigen self-testing to barangays

A weeklong Antigen self-test program shall be implemented for Atab, Loakan, Irisan, Asin, City Camp and Pacdal health districts starting Jan. 24, Monday, after pilot simulation in three health districts last Jan 12, 13 and 14.

This was revealed by Health Services Office City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (HSO-CESU) head Dr. Donabel Tubera-Panes Thursday (Dec.20) last week.

Interested individuals may procure complete self-tests priced at P280 in aforementioned barangays halls, with processing done in health centers. Testing is done within office hours, with booths for the purpose, in both areas. 

The kits may be brought home for self-testing or the individual may be swabbed in testing booths with health personnel at either the barangay hall of the health district. Video instructions are provided, with print out instructions included in the kit.

Accomplished tests should be handed over to the processing center within two hours, with proper label and container. Results may be through a text message or print out results. Proper bio-waste disposal shall be done by city health personnel, it was assured.        

The lowest considerable and affordable price for test kits was negotiated by the city for city dwellers to determine positive cases in their barangays, as soon as possible.

Self-testing is done to immediately identify and isolate Covid-19 positive cases, Mayor Benjamin Magalong said earlier in an interview. Cases found out to be positive are considered laboratory-confirmed, even with or without clinical signs and symptoms.

Dr. Tubera cited those suspected or probable Covid-19 cases who tested positive using antigen in areas with outbreaks in remote settings. Antigen tests are used as long as it satisfies recommended minimum regulatory, technical and operational specifications set by the Health Technology Assessment council (HTAC).

Of the 16 city health districts, high numbers of Covid cases were seen in Atab – 3,639; Loakan, 3,144; Irisan, 2,326; Asin – 1,791; City Camp – 3,074; and Pacdal – 1,386.

According to the mayor, there is a seemingly overwhelming and dramatic increase in cases within just a week, though there remains to be low numbers of severe and critical cases. Though there are individuals needing oxygen and medicines, the number is on a minimum scale, Mayor Magalong said.

A drive-through antigen self-test is considered and is undergoing process study. The process simulates that of drive-through-vaccination, but results are retrieved at a later time; or within the hour of specimen submission. Health authorities are currently deciding on details of the process, venue, schedule, and manpower needed. – Julie G. Fianza