Groups that undergo swab-testing, bared

BAGUIO CITY – (April 8, 2021) – Health Services Office (HSO)  medical officer IV Dr. Nelson Hora said  individuals displaying influenza-like symptoms including sore throat, cough, fever, itchiness  and fatigue are among those who undergo swab tests  to determine whether they are infected by coronavirus-2019 or any other disease.

Those coming from covid-19 high-risk areas, whether they are returning Baguio residents (RBRs) or visitors, are required to undergo the medical triage at Baguio Convention Center to determine whether they are to be swabbed even if they do not show any symptoms.

The emergence of new covid-19 variants that usually show no symptoms make it a judgment call for health professionals on whether or not an RBR or visitors should be tested.

Another group for possible swab testing are close contacts of an infected person and are identified by contact tracers whether or not they show symptoms of having acquired the virus.

As part of its expanded testing process, Hora said, persons belonging in identified high-risk groups like those working in hospitals, clinics, business process outsourcing companies (BPOs), and the like, are also undergoing swab tests on a regular basis even if they do not show any symptoms.

The nature of their work  requires  them to deal with a plethora of people on an almost daily basis  making the possibility of transmitting or getting infected by the disease quite high, he said.

Hora also stressed the importance of strictly adhering to minimum health protocols like frequent washing of hands; wearing of face mask and face shields especially in public and crowded places; and practicing physical distancing to help prevent being infected and spreading the deadly virus.- Gaby B. Keith