DOH conducts ‘aggressive community testing’ on 3,400 persons in Davao Region

Dec. 04, 2020

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Health officials of Davao conducted a four-day aggressive community testing (ACT) that swabbed 3,430 persons in Davao City, parts of Davao del Norte, and Davao del Sur that are classified high-risk areas for coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

The ACT targeted 10,000 persons for swab tests but only made 3,430 tests or an average of 1,100 tests per day.

On Friday’s online press briefing, the National Task Force on COVID-19 and the Department of Health (DOH) reported that the ACT covered 15 barangays in Davao City; the cities of Samal, Panabo, Tagum, and Kapalong municipality in Davao del Norte; and Digos City and Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur.

The breakdown by province is 1,488 individuals for Davao City, 1,627 in Davao del Norte, and 350 in Davao del Sur.

In an earlier briefing, the test schedules announced in Davao City are Talomo Central and Toril on December 1; Talomo Proper, Talomo North and Bankerohan District A on December 2; Buhangin, District B, Tugbok and Bunawan on December 3.

Health officials have earlier declared 35 barangays

The tests were made on persons who have come in close contact with patients (F1) and another layer of persons who have come in contact with F1.

Dr. Cleo Fe Tabada, head of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit DOH-Davao said the reason for this turnout was that some local government units had already conducted tests before the launch of the ACT.

She also said that there are a number of individuals who were reluctant to undergo testing but comprised a small number.

Tabada said the ACT can still be extended until next week.

In the briefing, Dr. Ricardo Audan, the officer in charge of Southern Philippine Medical Center, said that they have increased the hospital’s testing capacity from the previous 1,200 per day to 3,000 tests with the return of its six medical technologists that underwent training in Cebu.

Tabada said that with these tests, an expected surge in COVID-19 cases will be reported, but said that restrictions made by local governments, such as limiting people from going out for unessential activities are good enough and are “based on science to curtail transmission”.

In a previous briefer, Health Undersecretary Dr. Abdullah Dumama Jr said the National Task Force is sending additional personnel including 13 nurses and two medical technologists from Cagayan de Oro; 19 nurses and health workers from the National Capital Region (NCR) will be assigned to the SPMC. Another 20 health workers from Cebu will be deployed to private hospitals in the Davao region for COVID-19 related response.

Davao City has reverted to general community quarantine (GCQ) as of November 24.

As of December 4, Davao Region has a total of 2,524 active cases topped by Davao City with 2,029, Davao del Norte 233, Davao del Sur 153, Davao de Oro 71, and Davao Oriental 36.

There had been 6,748 recoveries and 374 deaths recorded in Davao Region since the pandemic.(

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