Diaz: Negros Occidental to step up rapid antigen tests vs. Covid

The Negros Occidental provincial government will conduct rapid antigen tests of close contacts of COVID-19 positive Negrenses in the top ten local government units hit by the virus, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said Tuesday, October 5.

The antigen tests will augment the RT-PCR testing also being conducted, he said.

He said the antigen tests have a 94 percent accuracy rate but will hasten the local government units placing those hit by COVID-19 in quarantine to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Antigen test results come out in 15 minutes or less, he said.

Negros Occidental had 4,019 active COVID-19 cases and 11 new deaths Tuesday, the Provincial Incident Management Team reported.

The province is initially preparing for 7,500 rapid anti-gen tests that were approved by the Department of Health and will start on Thursday or Friday, Diaz said.

Provincial government hospitals will also be provided with antigen kits to be used for emergency patients who need immediate medical attention, as RT-PCR test results take several hours to come out, he said.

Diaz also said the two COVID-19 designated hospitals in Negros Occidental are full and a third one is also nearing full capacity.

The Valladolid District Hospital is 110 percent occupied and the Cadiz District Hospital is 100 percent full, he said.

The Valeriano M. Gatuslao Memorial District Hospital in Himamaylan City has a 78 percent occupancy rate, he added.

Diaz said the provincial government hospitals are also experiencing a slight shortage of oxygen supply from private suppliers.

The Negros Occidental provincial government oxygen plant in Silay City produces 80 tanks of oxygen a day and is looking to increase its production level, he said.*

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