Baguio Mayor, health officer debunk misconceptions about COVID-19 tests

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Mayor Benjamin Magalong and City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo have debunked misconceptions about the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests.

Some people have been peddling ideas that COVID-19 tests are a farce and that all illnesses even simple cough are being declared as COVID-19.

The two officials said declaring a person as COVID-19 positive is not done on a whim but based on the result of Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test, the gold standard test for COVID-19 which is a product of scientific studies.

“Cough and colds are the most common symptom of COVID-19. In fact for most cases, these are the first signs of the disease and if one has them, there is a high index of suspicion because of the ongoing pandemic. But not all with cough had turned out COVID-19 positive as there are a lot with cough who tested negative of the virus,” they said.

On claims that there is no need need for testing and going to isolation facilities because COVID-19 has no specific cure and will fizzle out on its own, the two officials said thus:

“If people do not subject themselves to tests, they have no way of knowing that they are carriers of the virus and thus are a threat to their family and associates. The same is true if they refuse to go to the designated facility despite having no suitable isolation space in their homes. They will be putting their families and friends in danger;

“They may be healthy and able to withstand the virus but some of their family members, relatives or workmates who are elderly or have weak immune system or comorbidities may not.”

As a matter of procedure, asymptomatic or mild cases whose homes are not suited for isolation are brought to isolation facilities to halt their interaction with other people and prevent further transmission.

Since there is no medicine for COVID-19 as yet, care for these patients is limited to relieving their mild symptoms if any with common medicines and boosting the immune system with enough rest and vitamin supplements if needed, Galpo said.

On the other hand, those with severe and critical symptoms meanwhile are confined in hospitals and are administered more extensive care and treatment their conditions require.

Aileen P. Refuerzo