Mass testing turnout hits 108% in tricities
Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - May 21, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  More than 12,000 Cebu City residents have already submitted themselves to the strategic mass testing, an official from the Department of Health (DOH)-7 said.

Dr. Mary Jane Loreche, chief pathologist of DOH-7, reported that as of May 19, at least 11,881 or 67.75 percent have joined in the mass testing. The total target for Cebu City is 17,536.

Yesterday was the 15th day of the strategic mass testing under the Project Balik Buhay (PBB) and the last day for the sweeper rapid testing in the city. The program has been spearheaded by the Office of Presidential Assistant for the Visayas of Secretary Michael Dino.

Loreche said the activity should have ended last May 15, but was extended due to the sweeper testing.

She also reported that there are 6,403 samples coming from Cebu City that were tested.  Of that figure, about 6,073 have yielded negative, while159 are for swabbing.  As of yesterday, 28 of the159 were already brought to the DOH-7 molecular laboratory.

In Mandaue City, 7,768 samples were tested, and 7,392 tested negative, while 153 are for swabbing. Of the 153, 35 were already brought to the DOH-7 molecular laboratory.

In Lapu-Lapu City, 7,878 samples were tested. About 7,615 tested negative, while 110 are for swabbing. Of the 110, 56 were brought to the DOH-7 molecular laboratory.

A total of 422 or 1.9 percent of the number of samples tested among the three cities will require polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.

As per Loreche's report, 13,886 residents of Mandaue City have participated in the strategic mass testing, with a total target of 11,632 producing a 119.4 percentage rate.

In Lapu-Lapu City, 17,007 have participated, with a total target of 10,477 giving off a 162.3 percentage rate.

All in all, there are 42,774 tested in the three cities, or 107.89 percent turnout.  The total target is 39,645.

Loreche said that after the swabbing and the release of PCR results, the contact tracing will be conducted.

She said PBB follows the guidelines of three T's- test, trace, and treat.

She also clarified that the rapid anti body test being used for the program is not used for diagnostic purposes but for surveillance.

"We are in surveillance mode. We are not in the diagnosis mode," said Loreche.  GAN (FREEMAN)

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