Red Cross offers to help DOH notify COVID-19 positive persons

Noting the slow process of informing patients of their results, the Philippine Red Cross has volunteered to help the Department of Health (DOH) directly notify the persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 immediately after getting examined in their laboratories.

Senator Richard Gordon (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Senator Richard Gordon, chair and CEO of the country’s foremost humanitarian organization, said this is to help expedite contact tracing and treatment efforts for those who have contracted COVID-19.

Gordon explained that the PRC has been sending negative results directly to those who undergo COVID testing at its molecular laboratories while sending the results of those who tested positive to the DOH for individual release to the patients.

He said the PRC believes the DOH is in a better position and is better equipped to enforce government mandated health and safety protocols, which are embodied in the law and its implementing rules and regulations.

But with community transmission being a large contributor to the spread of COVID-19, Gordon said the PRC is now volunteering to help the DOH release positive results to patients.

He said it is imperative that patients who are positive for COVID-19 be immediately informed of their status “because if they are belatedly informed, they spread the virus in their community.”

“There are over 15,700 positive confirmed cases since July 30 and one-third of these people have not been informed about their status as confirmed positives and has been dangerously increasing community transmission,” Gordon said in a letter to the DOH.

“The movement and transmittal of COVID-19 positive test results should be done faster in a careful and secure manner by the DOH in favor of the patient,” he stressed.

“Given the urgency of the situation, we are now constrained to request the DOH to allow the PRC to send the positive results to patients through a team of volunteer doctors,” he said.

Gordon said it is alarming how reports show the acts of desperation of some COVID-19 positive patients is rising at an alarming rate, with some resorting to suicide.

He also lamented that some COVID patients are keeping their medical results from public knowledge, or if not, are destroying it, to avoid the stigma attached to the disease, thus, making it more difficult for health authorities to track and treat infected persons.