MANILA, Jan 3 (Mabuhay) — Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong said on Sunday that the city government was seeking the use of antigen self-tests to fast track detection and treatment of COVID-19 infections.
Magalong said they are readying an “easy-to-use” home testing method for residents through an appropriate program that would tentatively be launched this week.
“Our city could be the pilot site for these do-it-yourself testing kits that are widely used in the US, Canada, Europe, and Singapore,” the mayor said in a statement.
While the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) has yet to issue regulations on self-testing, Magalong said that testing czar Vince Dizon backed his proposal.
Magalong was also seeking approval on the matter from vaccine czar and National Task Force for COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr.
Self-tests will not only expand testing but also reduce the risk of transmission as people would be tested inside their homes. There would be no need for them to go to health centers where there are COVID-19 patients.
This would also address the possible surge driven by the more contagious Omicron coronavirus variant, which now has 10 cases in the country.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said self-tests can be taken anywhere and produce rapid results.
It can also be used regardless of vaccination status or if a person is experiencing symptoms.
Once tested positive, the CDC advised the person who took a self-test to isolate and inform their local government unit and close contacts. (MNS)