By Liezle Basa Inigo
LINGAYEN — Provincial Health Officer Anna Maria Teresa De Guzman announced that there has been no new case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Pangasinan since April 25.
De Guzman also said mass testing in the province has started Tuesday, May 5,
Among those who will be given priority in the mass testing will be patients under investigation (PUIs) with mild symptoms, persons under monitoring (PUMs) who are of old age, those with co-morbidity, high risk pregnancy mothers, and the province’s frontline workers.
De Guzman also explained that the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test will be used in the mass testing because this was preferred by health experts compared to the immunoassay or rapid testing based on the presence of antibodies.
PCR, where oropharyngeal swabbing is needed, will be more specific and sensitive compared to the rapid testing wherein whole blood will be used.
It was also learned that rapid testing might not detect the antibodies during the first stage of infection, while PCR could identify the virus even during the initial onset of the symptoms.
“Gustong sundan ni Gobernardor Amado I. Espino, III ay kung ano yung nirerekomenda ng Departamento ng Kalusugan na para sa mga kababayan natin sa Pangasinan,” said De Guzman.
(What Governor Amado I. Espino III wanted to follow was what the Department of Health (DOH) recommended for the people of Pangasinan)
The provincial health officer also highlighted the importance of early detection.