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In Baguio, testing for Covid-19 is prioritized for the elderly and health workers.

Senior residents and health workers remain the key sectors in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) testing efforts, according to the city’s top health official.

In a phone interview, City Health Services Office chief Dr. Rowena Galpo said this is in accordance with the Department of Health’s (DOH) directive, which prioritizes testing of health workers, the elderly, and people with comorbidities as the country experiences a surge in Covid-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant.

“We’re doing priority testing for health care personnel for surveillance purposes so we can prepare for enough health system capacity,” she explained.

Meanwhile, she stated that senior folks and those with comorbidities are vulnerable groups, necessitating testing and determining whether or not they can be treated with Covid-19 medicines.

When symptomatic and when reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing is unavailable, she recommends antigen testing.

Galpo went on to say that testing is only done on the remainder of the population who are asymptomatic to confirm Covid-19 infection after exposure to a positive case.

According to the DOH guidelines, testing is not required if there are no symptoms, although quarantine and symptom monitoring are recommended.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong claims that the city government employs sensitive antigen test kits that are 99 percent effective. This means that someone who tests positive in an antigen test is already considered Covid-19 positive and must be isolated.

Testing is still an option for the rest of the population with Covid-19 symptoms to establish their health status following the beginning of symptoms. Isolation, home care, and teleconsultation are recommended immediately.

There are now nine Omicron cases, all of which have been recovered.

Meanwhile, after seven more cases of the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant were reported in the city, the total number of Omicron coronavirus variant cases in the city has risen to nine.

Aileen Refuerzo, city information officer, said this was based on a biosurveillance report from the Philippine Genome Center received by the Department of Health (DOH)-Cordillera on January 25. (PGC).

Meanwhile, Refuerzo stated that all of these instances had already recovered.

The city’s first two Omicron cases were reported last week.

Prior to the DOH confirmation, Cordillera’s Mayor Benjamin Magalong stated that the Omicron variant was already present in the city, citing the significant spike in the number of cases that began earlier this month.

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