Quezon City conducts pilot run of community-based COVID-19 testing

Published April 13, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chito Chavez

The Quezon City (QC) government on Tuesday said 167 individuals were tested for the coronavirus during the pilot run of the city’s community-based procedure conducted on Monday.

Project Manager Joseph Juico said the individuals in the city’s community-based COVID-19 testing run underwent “thorough examination in the testing center together with the simultaneous examinations done in local government hospitals and contact-tracing which started since the first localized report of infection in the city.”

Aside from the 65 people who underwent testing at the QCX in Quezon Memorial Circle, Juico said six people were tested at the Novaliches District Hospital (NDH), 56 at the Quezon City General Hospital (QCGH), while 40 tests were administered by the Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (QCESU) in their house-to-house tracing yesterday.

”The pilot testing went well, but could still be improved to provide better service to our people. The transportation from the pick-up points to the various testing areas went as smoothly as it could be,’’ Juico said.

While waiting for the test results which will take three to five days, Juico said those who were tested are recommended to stay in Hope II, one of the city’s quarantine facilities, or undergo self-quarantine at home.

“If patients can do home quarantine, the city health will orient them with certain protocols and instructions for self-isolation so as not to infect people in their household. Additionally, a representative from their health center will call them everyday to constantly check on their symptoms,” he added.

If a patient tests positive, Juico said Hope II is ready to accommodate them and provide the needed medical attention.

Patients who test negative can go home and and are advised to undergo self-quarantine for 14 days and practice proper social distancing.

Juico said that today, the city government will be targeting 150 persons who will be tested at the Quezon Memorial Circle on top of the testing that will be done in hospitals and in contact-tracing.

He added that people who wish to go to the community testing facility must first coordinate with their barangay health centers where the health workers will decide if they should be tested.

“Barangay health centers will do preliminary interviews and evaluation. Upon thorough assessment, those with symptoms will then be brought to the community-based testing centers by government ambulances or to one of our local hospitals,” Juico explained.

Juico said Quezon City’s community-based testing is a one-stop shop as it can conduct blood testing, swabbing, and x-ray examination.

He explained that priority is accorded to frontliners, senior citizens with co-morbidities, and those who have had contact with COVID-19-positive patients.

The QCESU has continuously conducted house-to-house testing based on the reports given to them by the Department of Health.