NegOr NEEDS massive testing to stop COVID19

NEWS NOTES

Negros Oriental, Dumaguete City and the rest of  The Philippines will  never know the real extent of how the corona virus has impacted our community and the country if there is no effective mass and consistent testing of people, not only those who have symptoms, more so even those who are potential victims of the virus.

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Unless done, the lifting or extension of ECQs AND GSQs will mean less because the respective localities do not really know how they stand before COVID 19  whether  they are covid free or not.

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We find less sense in talking about lifting community quarantines unless we in Dumaguete for instance have efficient and capable lab capacity testing centers.  For more reasons Metro Manila cannot still afford to lift community quarantines because the massive testing for the virus has even just begun.  Right now with the returning  OFWs from abroad, there are 20,000 returing OFWs who are still awaiting  two kinds of testing , first the PCR (  )  which result can come in l6 hours and the rapid testing RST which results comes in 24 hours.   How about we in Dumguete, is there any official report of how massive testing has even started?  The last time we heard is the four day lab test from Cebu and the Huawei deal with the Silliman Medical Center which is not testing but just enhancing the CTscan images for speedy analysis.

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The ideal daily testing rate nationwide is supposed to be 30,000 tests daily but today DOH is still up to 4000 tests daily. No figures from the Visayas and Mindanao except the usual hit and miss methods.

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When we went around Dumaguete inside our vehicles, we found out that traffic has again resumed its turnout in the streets of the city. Coupled with the opening of inter-town travel and the Ceres bus trips coming back, and without an efficiently organized standard  lab testing centers , with returning OFWs resorting to mere home self quarantine unless there are symptoms,  the vulnerability of this community to the virus especially from inbound or incoming and returning kababayans is far from being diminished.

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We urge the IATF or the interagency task force of the city and province to speed up the arrival and putting up of massive testing  labs so that the sooner these are put up the faster we can relieve ourselves with this COVID19 PANDEMIC.