By Jerry Alcayde
CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro – All health workers from public and private hospitals, who were exposed to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients have been given priority in the first ever mass testing activity here which started Friday, April 17.
Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito A. Dolor said that, as per guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH), they have also prioritize the testing of patients with moderate or severe symptom like fever, cough, colds, difficulty of breathing, and those who have traveled to a place with local transmission or have exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 person.
Dolor said specimen were taken from 28 medical personnel at the Oriental Mindoro Southern District Hospital, five immediate family members of COVID-19 patients in the towns of Mansalay and Bongabong, and 14 personnel of the Oriental Mindoro Provincial Hospital.
Swab samples from four Public Safety Department rescuers, who were exposed to a COVID-19 patient in this city. were taken, along with that from a priest who administered funeral rites to the patient. Samples were also taken from two patients under investigation (PUIs) here, and another PUI from San Teodoro town.
The DOH will also take samples from patients who are senior citizens and suffering from pre-existing diseases like HIV or health workers with mild symptoms and relevant history of travel to a place with confirmed COVID-19 case.
Patients or health workers with mild symptoms and those with no symptoms but had relevant travel history to a place with confirmed COVID-19 case or exposure to a COVID patient will also be tested.
The provincial government has designated the Southern District Hospital in Roxas town and the Provincial Hospital in Calapan City as collection areas where specimens will be taken and then be brought to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) at the DOH main office in Manila.
All PUIs, including those under home quarantine, will be tested this week including health workers who took care of the six confirmed case patients, who were asymptomatic or were not showing any symptoms of the disease.
Oriental Mindoro has six confirmed COVID-19 case, the highest in the Mimaropa (Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) region which has a total of 14 cases.