By Freddie Velez
CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan – Governor Daniel R. Fernando instructed the Provincial Health Office-Public Health to clarify with the Department of Health (DOH) the protocols on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing.
According to the PHO-PH, there have been many questions as to where or how a person can be tested for the deadly virus, and that a clarification was deemed necessary.
“Naiintindihan natin na marami ang natatakot, pero lagi po nating isipin na hindi lahat ay kailangan magpatest. Ayon sa algorithm na nilabas ng DOH noong March 16, 2020, tanging mga patient under investigation (PUI) lang na pasok sa alinman sa kategoryang elderly o nakatatanda, may malalang kondisyon o sintomas o may iba pang sakit gaya ng diabetes, sakit sa bato ang dapat isailalim sa test,” Dr. Jocelyn Gomez, PHO-PH head, said.
Gomez also clarified that PUIs are persons who are showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19. She also said persons under monitoring (PUM) are those who may have been exposed to the disease, but have not shown any symptoms.
As per DOH, there are only five laboratories that have the capacity to do the COVID-19 testing. These are the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine in Metro Manila, Baguio City General Hospital and Medical Center in Baguio City, San Lazaro Hospital in Metro Manila, Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, and Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City.
Patricia Alvaro, Health Education and Promotion Officer, said that “matapos kunan ng specimen ang mga PUI na pasok sa kategorya ng DOH, ang PHO ang nagpa-facilitate na madala sa ito sa RITM at ang resulta ay malalaman matapos ang 24-48 oras.”
“Sila na rin ang mag-re-refer sa inyo sa ospital sakaling ang inyong sintomas ay severe at magre-rekomenda rin kung kayo ay dapat sumailalim sa COVID-19 test,” Alvaro added.
Moreover, according to the DOH, all expenses for COVID-19 testing for PhilHealth members are free.
The DOH also announced that as part of the observance of World TB Day, TB patients who are currently under treatment can get a one month supply of TB medicines that will be delivered to their homes.
Furthermore, Fernando is pleading to the public to stay at home and do their part in this war against COVID-19.
Based on the Bulacan COVID-19 Surveillance update as of March 24 there are nine confirmed cases, including two COVID Deaths. There are 221 active PUIs while 666 are PUMs.