Nalzaro: DOH 7 should explain delays


WERE the results of the rapid mass testing a factor considered by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases when it placed Cebu City under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status? I don’t think so. Because we don’t know the exact figures of people who were found positive through the strategic mass testing and were later confirmed through the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. I believe the increasing number of positive cases directly underwent swabbing through PCR test.

The Department of Health (DOH 7) should explain the cause of the “super delay” in releasing the results, especially for those who underwent re-swabbing. Those found positive who are in various barangay isolation centers (BIC) are complaining about the delay.

When I discussed the topic in my dySS radio program, Dr. Daisy Villa, chief of the Cebu City Health Department, reacted through text, saying they have done their part.

“Super Bob, just want to clarify nga na-swab na namo ang angayan nga i-swab sa tanan nilang due date for re-swabbing except BJMP. Gi-send na namo sa Resu (Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit) ang tanang specimen. Hangtod karon sige pani hulat sa results.”

So the problem of backlog is with the DOH. I don’t know if those who examine and analyze the specimen are government medical technologists employed under DOH or through a private laboratory. DOH 7 Director Jaime Bernadas is not transparent about this. What’s the problem on DOH’s side, Dr. Bernadas? Lack of manpower? No sufficient equipment? Please open up so that we can solve this problem. Speed up the validation process so the disparity between those positive and “recoveries” will narrow down. Dili kaayo tanto alarming. Kay daghan tuod natakbuyan pero daghan pod ang nangaayo.

I stumbled upon an article quoting experts from Maryland and Virginia States Department of Health which was featured in WTOP news, who defined and described people considered recovered from the novel coronavirus.

What does recovered mean?

“According to experts in the States of Maryland and Virginia regardless of the term used, the same general criteria from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine when a coronavirus infection cleared up. These criteria are based on the symptoms that Covid-19 patients experience. It may surprise you, but the CDC guidance does not require patients to be retested to determine if they’ve recovered from a coronavirus infection.

“While some doctors may opt to retest patients after their illness, that is ‘contingent on ample testing supplies,’ the CDC says. Many areas still lack adequate testing supplies. Instead, the determination of whether a patient has recovered be made based in symptoms alone, the CDC says.

“The CDC guidelines are: 1) No fever for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications; 2) Improvement in other symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath; 3) At least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

“Clinicians carry out daily assessments to determine that patient no longer needs to remain in isolation. Even after patients recover, everyone is advised to continue to practice preventive measures including social distancing, staying at home when you are sick, covering your cough with a tissue or your elbow and frequent hand washing.

“That’s important because epidemiologists still are not entirely certain that once you’ve had coronavirus, you can’t get it again,’ said health spokeswoman Alison Reeves.”

Can we just simply adopt this here? I doubt. Our experts here say those found positive should be tested twice before they can be considered “recovered.” Siniguro lang ning ato.


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