Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año has given the go signal for the conduct of rapid antigen tests in Negros Occidental to speed up contact tracing efforts to arrest the spread of COVID-19, provincial consultant Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said Wednesday, October 6.
Benitez called Año Wednesday after Local Government Regional Director Juan Jovian Ingeniero informed the provincial government that its proposal to conduct rapid antigen tests would be referred to the Department of Health and the Health Technology Assessment Council for further study and appropriate approval.
“Pending approval by the DOH and HTAC we highly encourage the LGU to defer from conducting such activity,” Ingeniero said.
Benitez said with the approval of Año they aim to begin the rapid antigen tests in the province this weekend, which urgently needs to be done.
Negros Occidental had 4,214 active COVID-19 cases and six new deaths Wednesday, the Provincial Incident Management Team reported.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson on Wednesday issued the guidelines for the rollout and use of the rapid antigen resting kits for expanded contact tracing and early detection measures beginning Saturday, October 9, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said.
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 rapid antigen tests will be isolated and managed as COVID-19 cases, Lacson said.
The cities and municipalities that will initially be covered under the rollout as determined by their COVID-19 average daily attack rate for the past seven days are La Carlota City, Talisay City, Pulupandan, Binalbagan, Toboso, San Enrique, Salvador Benedicto, Himamaylan City, Kabankalan City and Silay City, Lacson said.*