Cebu Province won't swab asymptomatic persons

AS A way to save money, the Cebu Provincial Government will no longer conduct swab test on Covid-19 patients that are asymptomatic.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia announced the matter during her regular live presser at the Cebu Provincial Capitol on Tuesday, June 8, 2020.

Garcia said they will only save their Covid-19 testing kits to be used for those showing Influenza-like Illness (ILI) or Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (Sari).

Garcia said there was no use to conduct swab testing on those people who are considered asymptomatic.

"Why do we need to conduct swab testing on those not showing symptoms of Covid-19? Even the WHO (World Health Organization) and the Department of Health have said there is no clear evidence that an asymptomatic person can infect others," Garcia said in Cebuano.

During a meeting with DOH-Central Visayas officials, Garcia and health officials agreed that they will only collect swab samples from first generation contacts of the Covid-19 positive patient, which includes family members in contact with the patient.

After swab samples are collected from the patient's contact, they are immediately isolated.

Garcia said like before, there was no need to conduct swab testing on the purok, sitio or barangay where the patient was from.

"Whenever we conduct lockdowns in the barangay, it's the municipal or city government who facilitates the feeding of its residents. Much of our towns and cities under the Province are losing their funds due to sustained lockdowns in some of their barangays or sitios," Garcia added.

Garcia added that aside from testing only those who have Covid-19 symptoms, the Province will also implement "time-based approach" in handling Covid-19 patients living in various localities.

Garcia said the "time-based approach" involves releasing a Covid-19 patient after 21 days once he or she is no longer showing any symptoms.

She said Covid-19 patients who are no longer showing any symptoms within 21 days will be considered as fully recovered and will no longer be subjected to retesting.

Garcia said she already sought permission from DOH-Central Visayas Director Jaime Bernadas to implement the time-based approach as a way to save funds.

The governor added she will be drafting an executive order for the implementation of the new policies. (ANV/JKV)