Mayor Sara orders regular surveillance swabbing in Davao City

Published April 1, 2021, 9:15 AM

by Antonio Colina IV

DAVAO CITY – Mayor Sara Duterte here ordered local health authorities to conduct  regular surveillance swabbing in high-risk areas in this city.

Mayor Sara Duterte (City Government of Davao / Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Mayor Sara Duterte (City Government of Davao / Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Duterte said during her program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) Monday she wanted to jack up the daily testing capacity to over 1,000 from the average of 600 to capture the individuals who are positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in communities.

Duterte told individuals to “self-monitor” for any signs and symptoms of influenza-like illness like fever and cough and  get tested if they experience these symptoms.

“Dabawenyos should self-monitor for symptoms. There is nothing to fear because we have COVID-19 facilities whether you are asymptomatic or mild. If you are severe or moderate, we have hospital for you. Once you recover, then you can go home,” she said.

She said the city government offers free swab test.

As of March 29, Barangay 15-B here has been classified as a “critical risk” barangay while Barangays 27-C, 38-D, Bago Gallera, Mintal, and their adjacent Barangays of 14-B, Agdao Proper, and Kapt. Tomas Monteverde Sr. in Agdao as “high-risk” barangays until April 3.

She said the local government has assured sufficient supply of testing kits. The three COVID-19 laboratories operating in this city are Southern Philippines Medical Center, molecular laboratory at Davao International Airport, and private-owned Davao One World Diagnostic Center.

“We can see that our number of cases are going down, but we should not wait for it to go back up again. What we are going to do is to undertake a surveillance of influenza-like illness,” she said.

Persons who have influenza-like illness must be tested immediately, she said.

Under Executive Order 18 released last Friday, the close contacts of persons suffering from influenza-like illness would be closely monitored and that they would be swabbed if any of the symptoms develop.

Individuals showing flu symptoms will be subjected to mandatory home quarantine while waiting for their RT-PCR test results, it added. Those who will test negative for COVID-19 will be released from home quarantine once they recover from flu, except when they need to work or do business.

She also directed contact tracers, Barangay Health Workers (BHWs), and Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) to refer individuals manifesting flu symptoms for swabbing.

Mayor Duterte also ordered  health authorities to make regular schedule of surveillance swabbing in business and commercial establishments; public places, including, among others, wet markets, supermarkets, and stores; government offices; private offices and agencies; closed facilities such as Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bahay Pag-asa, Home for the Aged, and orphanage; and other barangays and areas deemed high risk by the City Health Office.