CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–City Mayor Oscar Moreno called on companies in the city to coordinate with health authorities if they decide to subject their workers to rapid diagnostic tests to ensure appropriate government action in case results indicate probable COVID-19 infections, June 19.
Moreno said this after he learned that one company conducted rapid tests on its employees without informing the government of the results.
“First, the rapid diagnostic test results are inconclusive. The Department of Health (DOH) made this very clear in its Memorandum 2020-0258 that set general guidelines on conducting COVID-19 tests,” the mayor said.
Furthermore, based on the guidelines, rapid antibody-based test kits shall not be used as standalone tests to definitively diagnose or rule out COVID-l9.
Because these must be used in conjunction with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), care must be exercised to not unduly consume RT-PCR test kits for the sake of confirmation, Moreno said.
He added that complications can be avoided if groups that conduct rapid diagnostic tests would closely coordinate with the City Health Office.
Companies and even private laboratories or clinics can be held liable if they do not coordinate with the government when they subject their workers to rapid tests especially if they do not inform health authorities of the results.
This failure, he said, will undermine government efforts aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.
“Companies should realize that preventing the virus from spreading does not end with testing people. Those who will test positive need to be properly quarantined, regularly monitored, and tested again by a DOH-accredited laboratory,” the mayor added.
Moreno also urged companies to establish their own isolation facilities to take care of their workers who test positive using rapid test kits if they insist on doing it on their own without informing health authorities. (CIO/RTP)