MANILA— The health department on Saturday assured the public that COVID-19 specimen collection in the country is safe.
This, after a report that a COVID-19 nasal swab test ruptured the lining at the base of a US woman’s skull, causing brain fluid to leak from her nose. The woman had an undiagnosed rare condition and the test she received may have been carried out improperly, according to an Agence France-Presse report.
“Sana po 'wag mabahala ang ating kababayan, the government is ensuring na safe po ang pagsagawa ng specimen collection dito sa ating bansa,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
(Let’s not be alarmed, the government is ensuring that the conduct of specimen collection in the country is safe.)
Vergeire explained that protocols must be followed in the collection of specimen.
“Ang pinaka-importante, kailangan 'yung gumagawa 'yung trained or skilled health worker. Kaya nga po tine-train ang mga tao na gumawa niyan para naiiwasan po ang mga ganitong pangyayari,” she said.
(Most importantly, the person collecting the specimen must be a trained or skilled health worker. That’s why they undergo training to prevent such incidents.)
Aside from trained health workers, the right supplies and processes are also important.
“Makikita naman natin sa ating bansa na nagagawa naman ng ating health care workers because we follow protocols and ating pong sinisigurado na skilled po ang ating health care worker na gagawa nito,” she said.
(We could see that our health care workers here in the country follow the protocols and we can assure that they are trained to do it.)
The Philippines as of Thursday has tested some 3.5 million people for the novel coronavirus, about half a year since the pandemic prompted varying degrees of lockdowns that left millions jobless and dragged the economy into recession.