Positive antigen test enough to prove Covid

·2 min read

INDIVIDUALS who test positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) through an antigen test will no longer need confirmation through an RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test.

This was what Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, chief pathologist of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH 7), said during her briefing at the Visayas Vaccination Operations Center on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022.

“If you test positive in the antigen test, there is no need to do confirmation using RT-PCR, because you are now considered a confirmed Covid-19 case,” she said.

Loreche also said they already shifted the testing of Covid-19 from contact tracing to clinical management.

This means they will prioritize the testing of subgroup classifications from A1 to A3, consisting of the medical frontliners, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities.

Loreche said asymptomatic individuals will not be prioritized.

Aside from symptomatic individuals, those who are yet to receive their Covid-19 vaccine, will be prioritized.

“In terms of hierarchy, who are our priorities for testing? The unvaccinated. Next would be those not fully vaccinated. Last priority are the fully vaccinated,” she said.

Loreche, however, said individuals belonging to the A1 to A3 categories, regardless of vaccination status, will be prioritized for testing.

Home isolation

With the rise in Covid-19 cases this year, Loreche said the DOH now allows home isolation, citing the need to adapt to the changing times.

“We did not allow home isolation in the past two years primarily because our temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMF) were enough,” she said.

Those allowed to undergo home isolation are Covid-19 positive individuals with no, mild, or moderate symptoms.

Loreche said home quarantine, on the other hand, is for close contacts of suspect, probable, or confirmed Covid cases.

She said among the minimum requirements to be allowed for such are a dedicated room and toilet for the patient, and oversight of a health care provider or local government.

Loreche emphasized this during the briefing so that there will be no flocking to swabbing centers.

She also reiterated that no Omicron variant case has been detected in Central Visayas.

She said the DOH 7 sent 81 samples to the Philippine Genome Center at the end of December 2021, and they are still waiting for the results.

The health official urged people to refrain from hoarding medicines, particularly for flu-like symptoms.

“Let’s not buy them all up because all of us will need those. There has to be an equitable distribution of resources,” she stressed.

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