Iloilo City begins mass testing today

By Emme Rose Santiagudo

After procuring test kits using donations of Ilonggo businessmen, the Iloilo City government will begin its coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mass testing on Monday, according to Mayor Jerry Treñas.

In his Facebook page, the mayor said medical technologists have already been preparing to roll out mass testing where persons under investigation (PUIs) in Iloilo City will be prioritized.

“Our medical technologists are preparing to go on mass testing starting on Monday. They are identifying the persons to be tested. First to be tested are PUIs,” he said.

PUIs are individuals with travel history in places with confirmed cases and exposure to positive case and exhibited signs and symptoms.

Treñas said the mass testing was made possible through the test kits donated by Ilonggos and the help extended by the national government, Office of the Presidential Assistant for Visayas (OPAV), Department of Health (DOH), and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

Iloilo City government has recently purchased around 2,500 testing kits from South Korea.

The city has used the P5.5 million worth of cash donations from Ilonggo businessmen to purchase the testing kits.

Previously, the mayor said the COVID -19 testing in the metro will be free of charge but only to those who can pass the set of qualifications.

The Department of Health-Center for Health Development Western Visayas (DOH-CHD) has also said that it is preparing for a mass testing in Western Visayas.

DOH-CHD 6 Regional Director Dr. Marlyn Convocar said mass testing will be rolled to “suspect cases” or those cases that are progressive and at risk for contracting COVID-19.

Based on the new reporting guidelines, Convocar said a suspect case is a person who is presenting any of the conditions:

*all severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) cases where no other etiology fully explains the clinical presentation

*influenza like illnesses (ILI) cases with any one of the following such as either with no other etiology that fully explains the clinical presentation and a history of travel to or residence in an area that reported local transmission of COVID-19 disease during the 14 days prior to symptom onset; with contact to a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 disease during the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms; individuals with fever or cough or shortness of breath or other respiratory signs or symptoms fulfilling any one of the following conditions; aged 60 years and above; with a comorbidity; assessed as having a high-risk pregnancy; and health workers.

As of Sunday, five cases have been recorded in Iloilo City with one death.

The latest is WV. Patient No. 40 who is a 44-year-old male from La Paz district who had travel history in United Kingdom.

Local transmission of the virus has also been established in the metro.

Based on the situation report of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), the total PUIs in the city is 32.