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By: Mylen Manto | Published Friday, June 26, 2020

The Cebu Provincial Government adopted a memorandum of the Department of Health setting unified guidelines for the expanded testing of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Covid-19 expanded testing covers all individuals who are at risk of contracting the virus which includes suspect cases, individuals with relevant travel history and contact exposure, and health care workers with possible exposure whether symptomatic or asymptomatic.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia in her press conference on Thursday, June 25, said the memorandum has been sent to all mayors of the towns and cities in Cebu Province.

“So nia ni tanan diri. Ang ato man gud para di maglahi-lahi ang kada lungsod. Ang uban i-lockdown tibuok barangay mao nanay i-contract trace. Ang uban first generation. So ato na ni klaruhon. Ang uban i-swab, ang uban di i-swab,” she said. 

“So kinsa may i-swab, kinsa may i-isolate? It’s all here - ang testing, ang contact tracing, what to do with symptomatic patients, ang asymptomatic patients and these are all in accordance with the DOH Department Memorandum Circular No. 2020-0258,” Garcia added.

She said first generation contacts will be the focus in the contact tracing to be conducted.

Patients with fever and cough, colds or sore throat will be given priority in the Covid-19 testing, the governor added.

Based on the DOH memorandum, symptomatic patients, whether suspected or confirmed Covid-19 cases, can be discharged and tagged as recovered even without swab tests as long as they no longer show the symptoms and have completed the 14-day quarantine. 

The clearance must come from a licensed medical doctor who will issue a medical certificate certifying that the patient has recovered, she added. 

All asymptomatic non-healthcare workers who are close contacts of confirmed or probable Covid-19 cases need to complete a 14-day quarantine period as well. 

The quarantine period will start from the date of last contact with the confirmed or probable Covid-19 case to be spent either at a temporary treatment or monitoring facility, or home quarantine, if qualified. 

“(Asymptomatic) patients can be released from quarantine after 14 days as along as the patient remains asymptomatic for the entire duration of the quarantine, even without testing or test results. There is no need to repeat RT-PCR testing prior to discharge and tagging as recovered,” the DOH memorandum read. (Mylen Manto)