IN A bid to hasten the identification and isolation of virus-infected individuals, the local government of Masantol has set up two swabbing booths for exclusive use of Masantoleños.
Mayor Danilo Guintu said swabbing booths installed at the Metro Plaza and the health worker manning the facilities are highly-trained and compliant to the standards set by the Department of Health.
"We wanted to ensure the safety of both patients and our health worker during the specimen-taking. The health worker will be inside the sealed booth and will use a bio-chemical gloves extended to the patient standing outside the booth," he said.
An airconditioner is also installed inside the booth for the comfort of the health worker while the patient's area is an open ceiling to allow free-flow of air.
Guintu said the swabbing booths can accommodate 10 patients per day but are operational on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only.
All specimens taken will be sealed and secured in an ice cooler. They will be brought to the Diosdado Macapagal Memorial Hospital for testing, and results are expected to come back in three to five days, he added.
"With our own swabbing facility, the exposure of patients will be minimized. This is very important especially to those who will turn out to be non-infected as the chances of them getting infected only during the travel or in their stay at the hospital is possible," he said.
The mayor, meanwhile, ensured that all persons who will undergo swabbing will be subjected to strict quarantine either in their homes or in the local government-operated isolation facility while waiting for test results.
For the meantime, Guintu said priority will be given to close contacts of Covid-19 patients, health workers and other frontliners, and those who have referral from doctors.
"Through these facilities and along with other stringent anti-Covid 19 measures we are implementing in Masantol, we are hopeful that we could contain the quick spread of virus in our community," he said.