Issue of September 6, 2020
     
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Test, trace, isolate mitigate infection
by Aileen P. Refuerzo / PIO

Expanded or targeted testing and contact tracing continued to help the city locate carriers of Covid-19 and institute control measures that prevent widespread infections in the city.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said these systems have to be sustained as they are effective means to find more unknown carriers of the virus to isolate and treat them and their contacts and administer the control measures to stem the transmissions.

The mayor said that based on the turnout of the cases as reported by the doctors leading the contact tracing teams, most of the positive cases discovered through expanded testing were asymptomatic or exhibiting no symptoms at all.

“Just imagine if we did not subject them to tests and they continue to go about their lives and their jobs unknowingly spreading the virus in their homes, workplaces and places they visit with their contacts who are also infected doing the same,” the mayor said.

He said the city will continue to require sectors or industries to do mandatory testing especially those found to be highly susceptible.

Two sectors – banks and groceries – had been required by the mayor to conduct mandatory testing after random testing showed clustering of cases within their ranks.

True enough, several cases had been discovered in both industries contributing to the spike in cases in the past weeks.

The mayor said the number of cases resulting from the tests clearly shows which sectors are highly vulnerable and this should serve as a warning to people to stick to the minimum health protocols and not to let their guards down.

“We have to move on and learn to live with the virus but we can only do so if we strictly observe all health protocols of properly wearing our masks and shields at all times, washing hands, observing cough and sneeze etiquettes, physical distancing and avoiding crowds, enclosed areas and close conversations, among others,” the mayor said.

As of Aug. 31, the city has conducted a total of 36,890 Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests apart from thousands of rapid diagnostic and the newly adopted Antigen tests.

Of the total, almost 80 percent of those tested were either for targeted testing or contact tracing.


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