Lack of encoders causes delay in release of OFWs' coronavirus test results: DOH

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 20 2020 03:19 PM

Health workers help each other adjust their personal protective equipment as they wait for the arrival of OFWs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on May 13, 2020. Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Department of Health on Wednesday explained that COVID-19 test results of overseas Filipino workers take some time to be released because of encoding delays.

“Marami tayong naririnig na mga OFWs na sinasabi wala pa yung test results nila,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a media briefing on Wednesday morning. “Ang isa nating balakid ngayon are the release of the results of these RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) tests.”

(We have been hearing that OFWs are saying they haven’t received their test results. One problem is the release of the results of these RT-PCR tests.)

Vergeire said the tests of OFWs were processed by the Philippine Red Cross.

“Nagkaroon lang ng konting problema dahil yung encoding ng resulta, pero tapos na ang lahat ng test na ginawa,” the health official said.

(There’s been some problem because of the encoding of the results but the tests are all done.)

She said the government and the private sector are assisting so that there would be enough encoders.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, OFWs arriving in the country are required to be tested for COVID-19 and undergo quarantine for 14 days. But Vergeire said the rules vary depending on which country the OFW came from.