BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Some 3,000 residents of Bacolod City will undergo the first surveillance testing for 2021 that started yesterday until Feb. 15, to ensure that they are free from coronavirus disease 2019.
Dr. Chris Sorongon, deputy for medical and data analysis of the Emergency Operations Center, said priorities for the testing are symptomatic residents, health workers, the police, and other frontliners, who may directly go to the Bacolod Respiratory Outpatient (BRO) Center so they can be tested.
The city will use the IgG assay system of the American-based Marsman Drysdale Medical Products Inc. for the testing, he said.
Surveillance testing is done to gauge the prevalence of the disease in a community, or a particular group.
The EOC said 52,076 Bacolod residents have undergone swab tests, including for surveillance, since the start of the pandemic until yesterday.
Sorongon also clarified that the slight increase in the number of new Covid cases in Bacolod is not considered a post-holiday surge.
In fact, he said, they do not need to reopen the quarantine facilities they earlier closed due to low utilization rates.
As of Jan. 19, only barangays 4, Bata, Cabug, Mansilingan, Vista Alegre, Taculing, Singcang Airport, Mandalagan, Alijis, Villamonte, Tangub, Granada, Handumanan, and Estefania have Covid cases, EOC records showed.
The cases in these areas are from locally stranded individuals and not local transmissions, Sorongon said.
NO NEW CASES
Of the 61 barangays of Bacolod, 47 or about 77 percent have no new Covid cases for the last two weeks, he said.
Sorongon also said the EOC is coordinating with different hotels and inns in Bacolod for the possible accommodation of Covid positives.
Residents of Bacolod, who tested positive, can choose to be quarantined in a city facility for free, or in a hotel or inn at their own expense.
Only some hotels and inns in Bacolod are willing to accept Covid positive individuals, but they mostly require a minimum of 15 persons, Sorongon said, adding that, for now, they have no choice but to be quarantined in city facilities.
The EOC also said that those placed under contact tracing should disclose all necessary information to the city contact tracing teams (CCTTs).
The EOC again made this call after it found out that some individuals, who had been on contact tracing list, withheld relevant information from the CCTTs.
“Early detection, identification, isolation, and containment of the virus prevent dreaded effects that may lead to death,” contact tracing cluster head, Dr. Rosalie Deocampo, said in a press release from the city.
The information provided during contact tracing must be “truthful and accurate” to effectively curb the spread of the viral disease, Sorongon said.
The EOC also warned that individuals, who do not provide the needed information during contact tracing, can be charged.
Under Section 9 of Republic Act 11332, or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, “tampering of records or intentionally providing misinformation” and “non-cooperation of the person or entities identified as having the notifiable disease, or affected by the health event of public concern” are prohibited acts.
“Late detection of symptomatic individuals not disclosed upon contact tracing may lead to Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI), instead of Influenza-Like Infection (ILI) if detected early, it added. SARI may lead to an increase in the city’s hospital admission,” Deocampo said.*