June 20, 2024

The Department of Health issued an advisory prioritizing health workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities as priority sectors in Covid-19 testing.
City Health Services Officer Rowena Galpo said the city has to follow the DOH guideline on testing prioritization where symptomatic health care workers are allowed to use antigen test to confirm their health status when Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test is not available.
Galpo said priority testing for health care workers is done for surveillance purposes to plan for adequate health system capacity.
For senior citizens and persons with comorbidities, Covid-19 testing is a priority to confirm infection of the vulnerable sector and to know if investigational drugs can be given. Antigen testing is encouraged only when symptomatic and when RT-PCR is not available.
For the rest of the population with no symptoms, testing is only done to confirm Covid-19 after exposure to a positive case. The DOH says testing is optional if there are no symptoms but quarantine and monitoring of symptoms is advised.
For the rest of the population with Covid-19 symptoms, testing is still optional to confirm health status after onset of symptoms but isolation as soon as possible is advised including home care and tele-consultation.
Only health workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities should undergo Covid-19 testing while the rest of the population have the option to have themselves tested or not but home quarantine and home isolation is encouraged if declared close contact or with symptoms. – Jessa Samidan