CHO: Health data show no local transmission for now

CAGAYAN DE ORO. Cagayan de Oro City Epidemiologist Dr. Joey Retuya. (File photo)
CAGAYAN DE ORO. Cagayan de Oro City Epidemiologist Dr. Joey Retuya. (File photo)

CITY Epidemiologist Dr. Joey Retuya said data from their extensive surveillance have shown that there is no local transmission of the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Cagayan de Oro just yet.

But Retuya said they are still contemplating on conducting other methods to determine whether there is already community transmission, even as he admitted that the conduct of health surveillance is not enough to answer this question.

Mayor Oscar Moreno said last week that the death of the Covid patient from Barangay Camaman-an could be a case of local transmission, after health officials in Cagayan de Oro are clueless where the 69-year-old got the virus when he had no travel history.

Retuya said only when testing is available will they be able to confirm if local transmission of the virus is already present in the city.

"Kay wala man tay PCR testing, we have rapid diagnostic tests nga approved sa FDA. We may be able to use these especially sa gitawag nga targeted testing sa close contacts. Even without symptoms, that would tell us whether or not naay kaso or wala," he said.

Moreno, for his part, vowed to fast-track the testing process by buying two testing equipment in addition to the Department of Health's (DOH) one testing equipment.

DOH-Northern Mindanao Infectious Diseases Cluster head Dr. Ian Gonzales said renovation work is ongoing at the DOH's TB reference center in Barangay Carmen where the equipment will be placed.

Gonzales they are also training personnel to operate the facility. He said they plan to accommodate tests not only from Northern Mindanao, but also from Caraga region and Zamboanga Peninsula.

"We are fast-tracking the testing and hopefully in the next few weeks, ma-install na. But of course, we cannot expect nga the moment naa na ang three machines diha as if solved na ang problema sa testing. Still a long way to go. What's important is ang fundamentals ma follow, puyo sa balay, hugas sa kamot, social distancing," Moreno said.


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