But a consequential “rapid fall of cases two weeks or three weeks from now” is expected, said Dr. Alejandro, provincial health officer.
However, Alejandro warned “there will still be spike” but only in municipalities which have not yet fully rolled out the risk-based and targeted Covid-19 testing. The doctor projected it to happen in the next two weeks.
“Based on our data, the testing capacity is low and the positivity rate is high. So, we wanted to do more testing and identify who may be suspect or infected and isolate them as well,” Alejandro said.
Kiamba was the first to finish the risk-based targeted testing and “the cases are really going down. Maitum’s case is starting to go down also. Other municipalities are still doing it,” Alejandro said.
In Kiamba, from May 1 to May 28, some 160 persons were tested positive in antigen with 99% RT-PCR positive and more than 80% asymptomatic.
These asymptomatic, Alejandro pointed out, “are silent spreaders. If we are not able to isolate or quarantine them immediately, then there will be a massive spread of the disease.”
Some of these cases, according to Alejandro, were fishermen with activities at the fish port epidemiologically linked to fishermen also in General Santos City.
Risk-based targeted testing is among the recommendations of the Department of Health Epidemiology Bureau but not usually being done by local government units, said Alejandro.
EO 19 stated that to effectively stop the spread of the infection of Covid-19, “there is a need to continue this testing method in order to sustain the early detection, isolation and treatment of infected individuals.”
In the new guidelines, minimum health protocols will be strictly implemented; only essential travels are allowed; and travelers from high transmission areas are required of SPASS registration.
S-PASS or Safe, Swift and Smart Passage is a travel management system that can facilitate local travel where the public can access information on travel restrictions implemented by the different LGUs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The travelers can check the travel restrictions of their destination through https://s-pass.ph.
Other restrictions in the new guidelines are: no mass gatherings; public offices and agencies to adopt alternative work scheme; transportation at 50% capacity; regulations set by the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education shall remain in force for all school activities; curfew hours are still in full effect; selling of liquors regulated; municipal and provincial biosafety and biosecurity teams shall remain closely coordinated in the conduct of testing mechanism; and barangay captains to mobilize BHERTs and tanods in the compliance of Covid-19 protocols in the barangays. (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)
Photo by JAKE T. NARTE of Gov. Solon in a quick consultation with local officials after a Covid-19 Executive Meeting of the 7 municipal mayors held at the Capitol gymnasium.