DOH allays fears over COVID-19 swab testing after US incident
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday allayed fears on nasal swab testing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) following a recent report that the brain lining of a patient in the US was punctured after undergoing the test.
During the Laging Handa online press briefing, DOH Undersecretary and spokeswoman Maria Rosario Vergeire said that those taking specimen from patients are skilled healthcare workers.
“Kaya nga po tine-train natin ang ating mga tao, yung mga gumawa nyan, para maiwasan po yung mga ganitong pangyayari,” Vergeire said.
(That is why we train them so such incidents will be prevented.)
“Kailangan din po yung mga tamang supplies na ginagamit, yung tamang swab, yung tamang proseso para gawin ‘yan, ‘yan po dapat ang tamang ginagawa,” she added.
(The right supplies are also needed, the right swab, the right process to do this, that is what is needed.)
“And nakikita naman dito sa ating bansa na ginagawa naman ng ating mga healthcare workers because they follow protocols and atin po talagang sinisigurado na skilled po yung health care worker na gagawa.”
(Our healthcare workers follow protocols and we make sure that those doing it are skilled.)
Vergeire’s statement comes after the American female patient, who is in her 40s and had an undiagnosed rare condition, had her brain lining punctured after undergoing a swab test, causing fluid to leak from her nose and exposing her toa life-threatening infection risk.
The report said that the test may have been carried without adhering to strict standards.
Despite the report, the DOH spokesperson said that this should not be a cause for concern.
“Kailangan lang ng tamang impormasyon para sa ating mga kababayan,” she said.
(We just need to relay the right information to the people.)
“Meron po tayong tinatawag na lisensya para dito sa mga facilities natin and even those that are doing remote collection, binabantayan po natin ‘yan, nagmo-monitor po tayo on the spot check. So sana po wag mabahala ang ating mga kababayan,” she added.
(We have licenses for our facilities and even those that are doing remote collection, we monitor that. We do monitoring and on the spot checks. So I hope the people would not be worried.)
As of Oct. 2, the Philippines has 316,678 COVID-19 cases, with 254,617 recoveries and 5,616 fatalities.
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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
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