DOH: COVID-19 test not obligatory for pregnant women

Published September 4, 2020, 9:16 AM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY—The Department of Health in Region 6 (DOH-6) clarified that pregnant women are not obligated to undergo test for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to be able to obtain medical care at a hospital.

“With our limited testing capacity, the priority for testing is only for those pregnant women who are suspected cases or those who are symptomatic,” said Dr. Sophia Pulmones, DOH-6 chief for Local Health Support Division.

Pulmones reminded hospitals and other health facilities in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental provinces, as well as the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod, to continue catering to pregnant women.

This after a woman in Pavia town, Iloilo province gave birth to her child when she was refused admission by any hospital after not having a COVID-19 test result, among other requirements.

But DOH-6 Assistant Director Dr. Julia Villanueva noted how the Philippine Obstetric and Gynecological Society – Panay Chapter has made a stand that women must be negative for COVID-19 prior to admission.

Villanueva added that it can also be a doctor’s discretion as COVID-19 positive cases among health workers in the region have continued to rise.