Returning locally stranded individuals (LSI) will still be subjected to a rapid antibody test to check for coronavirus disease (COVID) 19 infection following their 14-day quarantine in the province, said Governor Arthur Yap.
Yap on Wednesday made the assurance after the Capitol further eased its entry requirements for LSIs in accordance with a memorandum issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) that slashed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and rapid tests as requirements for the travel of stranded Filipinos to their home provinces.
According to Yap, they have started preparations to ensure that the provincial government will have enough rapid testing kits when the influx of LSIs starts.
“We are making provisions for that…at this point in time, we make an estimate, assuming if 5,000 Bol-anons come home will we have enough? That is the first stage we are trying to compute,” Yap said.
Those who will show symptoms of the disease while on quarantine in the province will be subjected to either a rapid test or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, depending on the availability.
Dr. Ellan Salada of the Capitol’s One Bohol Medical Technical Group admitted that the PCR test is still the “gold standard” in COVID 19 testing but said that a rapid test may still be useful particularly if done at the right time.
She said that rapid antibody testing would be more effective if conducted on the last day of quarantine instead of before it.
“In the antibody test, since atong ginadetect ana is the antibody, we have to wait for the body to develop these proteins or antibodies. Ang IgM, mao ni siya ang antibody na first na ma-develop so the best time to take the rapid antibody test to detect this IgM is on the 14th to 21st day of the illness,” Salada said.
The iGg will then be detectable on the 21st day of the illness, she added.
The health official noted that an antibody test may yield a false negative result if it is conducted two days after infection.
“It’s too early to detect the antibody kay wala pa man siya ma-produce sa atong lawas,” she said.
The Capitol has eased and revised its requirements for LSIs for the second time now. It initially required a PCR test then later accepted an antibody test before eventually waiving COVID-19 tests altogether as a prerequisite for entry into the province.
According to Dr. Yul Lopez, the Capitol’s COVID-19 spokesperon, LSIs are now only required to secure a medical certificate from a government physician and a travel authority from the Joint Task Force Coronavirus Shield based on the DILG’s Memorandum Circular 2020-087.
LSIs will get their medical certificate if they are proven to be asymptomatic and have undergone 14-day home or facility quarantine. They should also be found to have never been considered as a person under investigation or monitoring for COVID-19.