Cagayan de Oro rolls out random tests for COVID-19 | Inquirer News

Cagayan de Oro rolls out random tests for COVID-19

/ 01:25 PM November 04, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY –– For the second time, health officials here will be rolling out random tests for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) using the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) process.

Dr. Joselito Retuya, chief epidemiologist at the city health office, said the objective of the testing is to identify as many of the carriers of SARS-CoV2, which causes COVID-19 and isolates them.

The measure is planned amid the double-digit rise in COVID-19 cases in the city for more than two weeks now.


Retuya said the tests to be done with the Department of Health would target 2,500 residents who may volunteer or be chosen at random.


Based on the assessment, the survey target may be increased to make the result conclusive of the overall trend of infections in the city, he added.

As of Nov. 3, health authorities recorded a cumulative total of 1,756 cases in the city since March, of which 816 are active.

The active cases, who are severely or critically ill, are confined at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC), while those who are asymptomatic, are quarantined in various city government-run isolation units.

Many of the infections in the last two months are due to local virus transmission, with a number occurring in workplaces.

The large clusters are those in the city jail involving over a hundred inmates, over 70 NMMC health workers, some 20 workers of an agri-processing plant, and almost 30 police officers.

Retuya said the random testing would start as soon as the NMMC shall have upgraded its laboratory to biosafety level 2 sometime in November.


Last June, local health personnel conducted random rapid antibody tests, targeting 500 residents of Barangay Carmen, then the epicenter of infections.

Despite enticements of free rice and canned goods, only 288 turned in to be tested.

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TAGS: COVID-19, Health, Philippine news updates, random tests, Regions, RT-PCR

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