This province will start to conduct mass testing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on Monday, prioritizing the front-liners in the fight against the dreaded disease.
The provincial government and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) have tied up for the laboratory mass testing of some 1,148 Tarlaqueños.
Specimens will be brought to the PRC testing center in Mandaluyong City.
The swab test results will be available in 48 to 120 hours and will be sent by the PRC to the provincial government via e-mail.
Governor Susan Yap, in a statement on Sunday, said the provincial government has allotted some PHP5 million for the swab testing. A single test costs PHP3,500.
“We need to conduct mass testing so that we can effectively fight this deadly virus,” Yap said.
As of Sunday, there are 26 positive Covid-19 cases in the province with two recoveries and three deaths.
“We will strictly comply with the requirements of the Data Privacy Act of 2012 to protect our people who will be tested positive,” the governor said.
In the mass testing, the first priority will be the health workers of the government and private hospitals, health workers exposed in the community with positive cases, barangay health workers in the community with positive cases, personnel of Provincial Health Office, Philippine National Police and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, expatriates, and overseas Filipino workers.
The second priority will be those who came in contact with positive cases in the first priority, suspects with flu-like symptoms in the community, and immediate contacts or family members of positive cases.
Meanwhile, the province’s inclusion in the extension of the enhanced community quarantine will be subject for re-evaluation on April 30.
This, after the Department of Health (DOH) said the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases here was “considerably low”, which the governor attributed to the cooperation of Tarlaqueños in adhering to the ECQ guidelines of the provincial government.
“We will know the real Covid-19 situation in the province once the mass testing begins,” Yap said. (PNA)