DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the City Government is fast-tracking the establishment of district swabbing centers to decongest the Sta. Ana Swab Center.
The mayor said in a radio interview on Monday, April 12, that Sta. Ana, the city's main swabbing center, is currently experiencing congestion.
The city is currently implementing the mandatory swab testing of all close contacts, including the second and third generation contacts of confirmed Covid-19 patients.
According to the Executive Order (EO) 20, issued on Thursday, April 8, F1 contacts are those first-generation contacts of an RT-PCR confirmed Covid-19 positive case, while F2 contacts are those second-generation contacts of an RT-PCR confirmed Covid-19 positive case (close contacts of F1), and F3 contacts are those third-generation contacts of an RT-PCR confirmed Covid-19 positive case (close contacts of F2).
"There is a need to expand the testing of contacts beyond the F1 category as an attempt to control transmission of the virus," the EO stated.
She said having a designated swabbing center per district will give convenience to those away from the main swabbing center.
“Nakita nato nga dunay need gyud nga mag open og mga district swab center para dili na layo sa mga tao. Diretso na sila sa mga district health center nila duol sa ilahang residential address ug dili mag congestion ang atoang (We saw a need to open district swab centers so that people from far places will directly go to their nearest health center and at the same time decongest our) main swabbing center,” Duterte-Carpio said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.
Since the city heightened its surveillance and contact tracing efforts, the mayor saw an increase of Covid-19 tests, which reached up to more than 900 per day.
Aside from detecting more positive patients, Duterte-Carpio also said this will allow them to determine the cause of the clustering of cases.
“Kinahanglan nga ilahang masumpay-sumpay ang takod takud para makita ang sinugdan ug last person, para maputol ang transmission (There is a need to determine and see how those in a cluster of cases are linked together and who infected who. This will allow us to break the transmission),” she said.
The mayor also said the city is also monitoring and mandating individuals with influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms to be swabbed at the nearest district swab sites.
The World Health Organization defined ILI as an acute respiratory infection with the following: a measured fever of more than or equal to 38 degrees, cough, and onset within the last 10 days.
The mayor admitted that only few people with ILI symptoms reached out and have themselves tested.
With this, she encouraged Dabawenyos to avail themselves of the free Covid-19 testing for targeted residents, people experiencing ILI symptoms, and for Covid-19 close contacts.