Iloilo City implements repeat swab tests for COVID-19 positives

Published October 28, 2020, 8:57 AM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY—Those who tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in this city must undergo repeat swabs tests prior to being declared as recoveries.

Two health workers take a break from obtaining swab specimens for COVID-19 testing in Iloilo City. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)

In Executive Order No. 176, Mayor Jerry Treñas made it mandatory for COVID-19 positives to undergo repeat reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or swab tests “before they can be allowed to return to normal activities of daily living.”

The newest policy deviates from the policy of the Department of Health (DOH), which declared last June that COVID-19 positives are no longer required to undergo repeat tests to be considered as recoveries.

But the mayor explained the city government’s move comes after DOH’s Western Visayas regional reported 42 new confirmed cases earlier this week.

The new policy that took effect Wednesday, October 28, is free for all city residents and even non-city residents as long as they are in the city including being admitted at one of the hospitals or staying at quarantine facilities such as hotels or pension houses.

For those undergoing home quarantine, the repeat swab tests will be conducted after completing the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

For those undergoing isolation in facilities or hospitals, the repeat swab test will be conducted prior to being discharged.