March 3, 2024

After embarking on an aggressive sectoral testing and increased case management for the Covid-19, the city is again faced with the problem on the dwindling supply of Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain React Test (RT-PCR) test kits.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong, who worked out the procurement of the test kit donation and supplies, both swab and Rapid Diagnotics Test, said he might just have to try his luck again for more donations. Otherwise, the city will be forced to use its own funds this time.
City Health Services Officer Rowena Galpo said from the 40,000 kits procured by the mayor, the city is now down to 19,000 which is not much if the surge in cases continues.
The mayor said that for now the city will have to manage the remaining kits while he tries to obtain more.
But if the city decides to continue its risk-based mass testing to identify more carriers, then it may have to resort to a purchase, albeit it will have to wait for the cheapest lot to save on cost.
Still, purchasing test kits will not be sustainable because the city has to manage its resources amid the health crisis.
“We cannot go on testing forever especially since we know that this crisis might last until the end of 2021,” the mayor said.
He said that faced with meager test kits, he might have to resort to zonal lockdown or quarantine system where in the event of clustering of cases, the entire barangay or purok will be declared as critical spot and will be put on a lockdown and residents on quarantine for 14 days.
“It’s either we test them or quarantine them for two weeks,” he said.
Galpo said the city conducts an average of 462 PCR tests and 75 RDT per day at present.
As of Aug. 4, it has undertaken a total of 33,970 PCR and RDT tests which the mayor said is already high when compared to the other cities and even regions.
However, one problem is that the test is only “good as the day a person was tested” because he remains vulnerable to the virus even after testing negative of it, the mayor added. – Aileen P. Refuerzo