Taguig to begin barangay-based COVID-19 testing next week

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 17 2020 03:15 PM

A health worker crosses a street in BGC, Taguig on March 24, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Taguig City will begin next week its barangay-based testing for the novel coronavirus, Mayor Lino Cayetano said, over a month into the Luzon-wide lockdown aimed at curbing the pandemic. 

Instead of putting up a lone testing site, the city government will put up screening sites near health centers of the city's 28 barangays, said the mayor. 

The testing will cover 5 barangays per day starting Wednesday, he said. 

"Kahit anong increase ho sa ating kapasidad sa testing, kung lahat ho ng testing ginagawa natin sa isa o 2 lugar lang, limitado pa rin," he told reporters. 

(No matter how much we increase testing capacity, if all testing is being done in just one or two sites, that's still limited.)

"We plan to roll it out next week and we will spend the next few days preparing 'yung ating [our] health centers, dahil sisiguraduhin natin na safe at protected yung ating frontliners (we will make sure our frontliners are safe and protected)," he added. 

The testing will prioritize patients and health workers with COVID-19 symptoms, those who had close contact with carriers of the virus, patients who have recovered and need negative results to get discharged, the elderly, those with pre-existing medical conditions, and frontliners. 

Taguig, home to some 270,000 families, confirmed as of Wednesday 174 cases of COVID-19. The tally includes 12 deaths and 19 patients who recovered. 

The city's epidemiology and disease surveillance unit has screened some 700 people for the novel coronavirus since March, said its chief, Dr. Jun Sy.
 
-- Report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News