The two overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID) 19 may be “false positive” cases, said Department of Health (DOH) 7 director Jaime Bernadas.
Bernadas, in an exclusive interview over station dyRD’s “Inyong Alagad” program, said that the two OFWs could either be false positive cases or both were indeed infected with the disease but have already recovered.
According to Bernadas, the Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests which yielded positive results may have detected “remnants” of the virus.
The analysis was based on the negative results of antibody tests also done on both balikbayans.
“Positive to siya sa PCR…sa pag-analisa nako, tungod kay asymptomatic siya dunay mga indication ug experiences sa ubang nasud na bisan pag negative na siya sa PCR test pero mo balik siya og positive, sa panahon na labina na asymptomatic na siya so ang interpretation nila niini mao ang usa ka remnant sa virus na diin naa gihapon sa lawas unya mo positive gihapon sa PCR,” Bernadas said.
“Ang ilang interpretasyon ana na kini siya dili na makatakod tungod pud kay atong nakita na duna siyay resulta sa iyahang sa antibody test na negative sad. So meaning kung wala na siyay makita na antibodies sa ato pa, wala siyay active infection,” he added.
The two OFWs have undergone confirmatory polymerase chain reaction or PCR – based tests to determine if they were indeed still infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes the highly contagious respiratory illness.
Bernadas nonetheless assured that stringent protocols are being followed in handling both OFWs who are still in quarantine.
“Kanang duha na nagpositive sa PCR, ato ng gi obserberan. Dili siya pwede na e-discharge hantod na ma negative na,” he added.
The health official admitted however that results of the confirmatory PCR tests on the OFWs were delayed after one of their testing machines in Cebu bogged down causing a backlog in the COVID-19 tests.
Swab samples were taken from both OFWs and 63 other balikbayans who are quarantined in the province on Wednesday last week but test results have yet to be released.
He said that they are expecting the results to be issued within Monday or in the next days.