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Rapid antigen testing objective to sweep entire province: Albee

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The objective of the Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) campaign of the provincial government is to sweep the entire Negros Occidental to swiftly halt the spread of COVID-19, Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez, provincial consultant on economic affairs, said Monday, October 11.

On Saturday, 599 Negrenses in five cities and six towns in Negros Occidental underwent RAT and 56 tested positive or about 9 percent, he said.

More tests were conducted on close contacts of COVID-19 persons on Monday but the results were not out yet.

The RAT allows the provincial government to immediately determine if close contacts of COVID-19 hit persons are also positive for the virus.

That will enable local governments to then immediately trace the contacts of those who test positive, he added.

“Time is of the essence to catch those spreading the virus fast,” he said.

The RAT has a 94 percent accuracy rate, Benitez said.

He also said those who test negative but exhibit COVID-19 symptoms will be subjected to RT-PCR tests.

Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said they had aimed to test more persons Saturday but the bad weather contributed to the low turnout.

They were aiming to test 6,000 close contacts on the first day, he added.

They sent out additional RAT test kits on Monday for more testing, he said.

The initial target for testing were close contacts in 10 local government units contributing to about 75 percent of the COVID -19 cases in the province, and it was expanded to 12 LGUs, Diaz said.

The provincial government has 6,500 RAT kits and is buying 10,000 more, he added.*

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