Staff shortage due to infection woes slowing down COVID-19 testing drive
MANILA, Philippines — The delay in the turnaround time of COVID-19 testing in the country is mostly due to health workers, particularly laboratory and medical technicians, getting sick due to the disease, testing czar Vince Dizon explained Monday.
The increased demand for swab testing amid the COVID-19 surge is also a factor, Dizon clarified.
“Pinakamabigat dito, humihingi kami ng pasensya, marami sa ating technician, medical technician, laboratory technician ay nagpopositibo,” he said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
(The biggest reason for the delay is that technicians are testing positive, and we ask for the public’s patience.)
“Sila ay kinakailangan na mag-isolate at hindi makapagreport sa trabaho,” he added.
(The have to be isolated and cannot report for work.)
He admitted that many health workers are getting infected amid the surge, which prompted the government to shorten the quarantine and isolation period for COVID-positive medical frontliners who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Health workers who tested positive for the coronavirus can end their quarantine on the fifth day as long as they are no longer exhibiting symptoms.
They no longer need to get retested for the virus.
Those who are close contacts of infected individuals who are fully vaccinated and do not have any symptoms do not need to undergo quarantine at all, Dizon said.
On Jan. 7, Dizon said 81,200 COVID-19 tests were administered across the country.
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