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Expanded Covid-19 testing to be done on persons 'at risk of contracting infection'

Nograles


MANILA--The expanded testing for Covid-19 will only be conducted on individuals who are “at-risk of contracting the infection," IATF spokesperson Karlo Nograles announced today.

Under the revised guidelines, Nograles said those required to undergo testing are “suspect cases, individuals with relevant history of travel and exposure or contact -- whether symptomatic or asymptomatic -- and health workers with possible exposure, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic.”


Indiscriminate testing beyond close contacts of a confirmed Covid-19 case is not recommended, he added.

He also listed subgroups of at-risk individuals arranged in order of greatest to lowest need for testing.

Those who will be prioritized are patients or health workers with severe or critical symptoms, have history of travel or contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case (subgroup A), followed by patients or health workers with mild symptoms, have history of travel or contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case, and are considered vulnerable (subgroup B).

Next in line are patients or health workers with mild symptoms, have history of travel or contact to a confirmed Covid-19 case (subgroup C), and patients or health workers who are asymptomatic but have a history of travel or contact to a confirmed Covid-19 case (subgroup D).

Nograles said due to global shortage of testing kits and limitation in local capacity for testing, the government will rationalize available tests and prioritize subgroups A and B.

However, in view of the expansion of testing capacity and to ensure health workforce safety, subgroup C will be tested and health workers prioritized.

The IATF has directed all subnational laboratories to allocate between 20 to 30 percent of their daily testing capacity for health workers and the remaining 70 to 80 percent for patients, he added.