In preparation for the upcoming risk testing for coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Davao Oriental health workers underwent training on swab testing as well as the donning and doffing of personal protective gear on Friday.
In a statement on Sunday, provincial information officer Karen Lou Deloso said the participants came from the Municipal and City Health Office, provincial hospitals, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO).
Deloso added that frontliners were trained on how to don full protective gears and the proper insertion of oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swabs in the patient’s nose and mouth to collect respiratory secretions.
She said the province is set to roll out risk testing following the arrival of around 11,000 swab test kits purchased by the province.
Dr. Reden Bersaldo, Incident Commander and Provincial Task Force on Covid-19 action officer, said there is a need to strengthen the capacity of all healthcare workers concerned, particularly the front-liners, to ensure getting an accurate result for the upcoming risk testing.
He said the shortage of swab testing personnel has prompted the province to cascade the crucial training down to the local government units and capacitate more healthcare workers to do the test themselves.
“Through this, we will empower the LGU through their healthcare workers then we just distribute the test kits to them,” he said.
He added that the risk testing will cater to Covid-19 suspects, including individuals with symptoms and with travel history from places with positive cases.
“Also included in the list of individuals to be subjected to swab testing are the front-liners who are exposed to daily health hazards and other vulnerable populations like senior citizens, those with comorbidity, and women with a high-risk pregnancy,” Bersaldo said.
He added that 50 percent of the test kits will be used for the risk testing while the remaining half will be in preparation for the next phase.
“This phase is when the regional lockdown is lifted and airport operations will resume. We will use the test kits in testing those who will be coming over. Then if there will still be available swab kits, we will also use them for our persons under monitoring,” he said.
He said the provincial task force decided to strategize the utilization of the available test kits since it is logistically impossible to do massive testing.
“Doing the swab test is very important because it is only through testing that we can say that we are indeed Covid-free,” Bersaldo said. (PNA)