BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The roll out and use of rapid antigen testing kits for contact tracing and early detection measures in Negros Occidental has been expanded from 10 to 12 local government units, disclosed Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.
Lacson said that the three-day expanded contact tracing will start October 9 to 11, in cities of Silay, Talisay, La Carlota, Himamaylan and Kabankalan, as well as municipalities of Toboso, Salvador Benedicto, Pulupandan, San Enrique and Binalbagan, using the number of cases and daily attack rate as basis.
He also said that the towns of Pontevedra and Hinobaan have requested to be included.
Lacson said that the provincial government of Negros Occidental received an initial of 6,500 testing kits from the Department of Health.
These kits will be very useful in early detection of possible COVID-infected individuals and in effect enable the provincial government to institute control measures and prevent the rampant spread of the deadly virus that claimed so many lives, he further said.
Lacson earlier issued a memorandum to all local chief executives outlining the guidelines on the roll-out and use of rapid antigen testing kits for the expanded contact tracing and early detection measures.
Provincial Consultant on Economic Affairs Alfredo “Albee” Benitez said he is facilitating of getting more testing kits from DOH so that more Negrenses will be tested.
Benitez, former Metro 3rd district solon, has tapped former Dr. Eric Saratan, former mayor of Talisay City, as the liaison or point person, in coordinating with the local chief executives.
He also said that 120 medical technologists from various LGUs and Hospital Operations Department (HOD) – run hospitals of the province were trained by the Department of Health, Region VI.
Benitez said the medical technologists will be supervised by teams of senior medical technologists of the licensed laboratories of the nine government hospitals under the Hospital Operations Department led by the Teresita Jalandoni Provincial Hospital Molecular Laboratory Staff.
The Provincial Health Office under Dr. Ernell Tumimbang has been tasked to be the lead implementer of the said activity assisted by the Provincial Incident Management Team.*