The Department of Health (DOH) has targeted 3,500 villagers for mass coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) testing under a three-day project in the province of Cagayan.
Lawyer Charade Mercado Grande, DOH assistant secretary, said in a news briefing here on Monday that the 30-member contingent of health workers from their central office have been tasked to conduct the swabbing from Nov. 24–26. The team has also brought tents and equipment to speed up the free swab testing.
“The system is community-based so the health workers will be the ones going to the villages and evacuation centers,” Grande added.
Priority targets include families with active cases, flood victims, front-liners, health workers and responders.
Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba earlier prodded the DOH to prioritize members of the police, village officials and watchmen in a mass testing as they have been regularly mingling with the people.
“The front line workers have direct contacts to the people so they must be given priority too,” he added.
Dr. Carlos Cortina III, Cagayan provincial health officer, said the mass testing was scheduled as the recent massive floods had hindered villagers from observing minimum health protocols.
Meanwhile, the province has recorded six new cases — five in Tuguegarao City and one in Baggao town, health officials said on Monday.
One of the new patients is a 67-year-old carpenter of then flood-submerged Linao East village here who has no travel history and known exposure to a Covid-19 case. He suffered epigastric pain and was put in home quarantine. The other new cases in this city are a 49-year-old cook, a 49-year-old health worker, a 48-year-old electric cooperative driver, and a 30-year-old nurse.
Tuguegarao has at least 116 active Covid-19 cases, more than two-thirds of Cagayan’s 159 active cases, Cagayan Provincial Health Office (PHO) and Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (PESU) reports said.
Out of the 927 confirmed cases, at least 756 have recovered in Cagayan. Twelve died due to the virus—five from this city, two in Tuao, and one each in Amulung, Aparri, Enrile, Iguig, and Solana.
The other active cases are from Allacapan, Peñablanca, Baggao, Amulung, Enrile, Gattaran, Iguig, Rizal, Solana, Alcala, Ballesteros, and Tuao. (PNA)