Locally stranded individuals (LSI) and overseas Filipino workers may cut their 14-day quarantine short to five days by opting to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
Dr. Yul Lopez, the Capitol’s spokesperson on COVID-19 related issues, said that the measure was implemented through a memorandum issued by Governor Art Yap following a meeting with local health authorities.
LSIs and OFWs who are asymptotic can choose to submit themselves to a PCR test on their fifth day of quarantine.
The LSI or OFW will then be allowed to go home if the test yields a negative result.
“Atong iklaro, hilanglan g’yud walay simtoma, eksiminon sa doctor, dapat healthy siya ug mo hatag og negative PCR test which is the gold standard, very high ang specificity,” he said.
Lopez explained that the fifth or fourth day of quarantine is ideal for conducting the test.
“Inig biyahe nimo gikan sa Manila, that would be day zero unya mo abot ka diri sa Bohol magihap up to day five. If ever dunay kay COVID virus, it is best to get it at day five kay kung naa kay virus, me detect g’yud sa PCR,” he said.
The decision to cut the quarantine period down to five days if proven to be PCR negative was also based on recommendations made by the US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“This will be a very important protocol as we go into the new normal sa Bohol,” he said.
According to Dr. Mutya Macuno, medical chief of the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH), a PCR test costs P4,000 for private individuals while testing using kits from local government units costs P700.
The GCGMH recently opened its molecular laboratory, Bohol’s first PCR facility, this week allowing the province to boost its testing capability.
The facility operates 24 hours a day.
Previously, Bohol depended on Cebu for testing swab samples from locals causing delays in the release of the results. (A. Doydora)