By Liezle Basa Inigo
LINGAYEN – The Provincial Health Office (PHO) of Pangasinan is targeting to administer at least 4,000 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) tests, especially in 16 hotspots tagged in the province.
PHO Chief Dr. Anna Ma. Teresa S. De Guzman identified the hotspots as the towns of Bayambang, Sto. Tomas, Malasiqui, Basista,, Binalonan, Pozorrubio, Laoac, Rosales, Asingan, San Fabian, Lingayen, Urbiztondo, Infanta, and Bugallon; and the cities of Alaminos and Urdaneta.
“Targets are mild PUIs (patients under investigation), PUMs (persons under monitoring) who are elderly and with co-morbidity, high risk pregnant mothers, and those who have had direct contact with suspects, PUIs, COVID-19 cases; overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and frontline workers,” she said.
De Guzman noted that co-morbidities include hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, immunocompromised cases like HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and Tuberculosis.
PHO conducted the first day of mass testing last May 5 in Malasiqui (59 persons), Basista (31), Sto. Tomas (30), and Bayambang (51).
About171 Pangasinenses had their throat swabs taken. They were 76 health workers, 43 police officers, 51 persons under investigation (6 OFWs and 45 local), and one mild PUI.
De Guzman said that specimens gathered during the swab testing will be brought to Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.
The PHO has deployed teams that will taking swab samples until Friday, May 8.
In case of positive results, Dr. De Guzman said the local government unit, through the municipal or city health unit, will handle the isolation and treatment for those with mild symptoms.
But if those tested manifest severe symptoms, they will immediately be brought to the provincial hospitals.