By Jonathan Hicap
The Muntinlupa City government has started its coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mass testing Monday, initially for patients under investigation (PUIs).
Muntinlupa City Health Office chief Dr. Teresa Tuliao said five PUIs out of the total 180 were taken to a field testing area by Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERT) and Muntinlupa City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MCDRRMO) personnel for collection of swab samples.
Local health personnel used swab booths at the facility in Laguerta in Tunasan to collect samples from PUIs to lessen their exposure to possible COVID-19 patients.
Muntinlupa has partnered with the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang for the processing of swab samples. Results will be released in three to four days after testing. The city government aims to test all 180 PUIs in Muntinlupa by April 17.
“Initially, we are testing city residents showing flu-like symptoms and those who are suspected cases of COVID-19. For those who will test positive, we will subject them for confinement and referral to an isolation site in Ospital ng Muntinlupa,” said Tuliao.
Confirmed cases will be registered with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) for medical assistance. Those who test negative will be sent home but they are required to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine.
The city government received 240 test kits from the Department of Health (DOH) and will augment the testing conducted by RITM.
“We need a more aggressive approach such as the early detection of a COVID-19 infected person to contain the spread of the virus,” said Mayor Jaime Fresnedi. “This localized targeted mass testing is critical in the determination of medical assistance to be administered to our residents and identification of measures to be implemented by the local government.”
Barangay health workers are conducting daily monitoring of PUIs and PUMs in the communities and distribute vitamins and medicines to those with underlying conditions.
As of April 13, the Muntinlupa City Health Office recorded 77 confirmed cases in the city, including 13 deaths and 14 recovered cases.