QC issues guidelines for safe, proper COVID-19 testing

Published January 22, 2022, 2:41 PM

by Aaron Homer Dioquino

The Quezon City (QC) government released on Saturday, Jan. 22, the guidelines to ensure that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing held in the city will be conducted safely and properly.

“Private groups and other government agencies that want to conduct mass testing activities are very much welcome in our city. However, we have to make sure that these activities are properly coordinated with our City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU),” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.

Belmonte said the guidelines will help make sure that the team who will conduct the test are trained medical professionals, all test kits are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the residents are safe, and that the results will be forwarded to the city health department for appropriate action.

The mayor added that the local government must strictly be notified regarding individuals who tested positive for the disease so they can be enrolled to the city’s Community Case Management Program, sent to quarantine facilities, and be provided with home care kits.

The local government said all tests conducted by entities other than private laboratories and clinics accredited by the Department of Health (DOH) are referred to as “extra-ordinary” testing under the Memorandum No. 05-22 or ” Guidelines for Mass COVID-19 Testing Activities Undertaken in Quezon City.”

This includes tests conducted by the city, government-owned and private hospitals in QC.

It said that proponents of “extra-ordinary” testing should send a letter in hard copy to the CESU or through their email ([email protected]), so they can coordinate with the Quezon City Health Department (QCHD).

The letter must be received by the CESU two days prior to the activity.

It should include the name of the proposed activity, details of contact person, schedule, venue, the number of individuals tested and to which priority group they belong, the brand name, source, the DOH and FDA approval and certification details, and expiration date of test kits to be used.

They are also required to provide the names and PRC identification cards of the participating medical team members.

Senior citizens, individuals with comorbidities, and those without access to testing themselves should be prioritized.

The CESU will oversee the guidelines, prioritization criteria, and other protocols that will be implemented once the COVID-19 testing activity is coordinated and approved.