Testing is key

"This is how we curb this pandemic."


The clerical error that said ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap had tested positive for COVID-19 demonstrates the human element involved in this whole concerted effort to resolve the public health crisis.

After the Department of Health (DOH) made the public clarification that the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine committed the mistake, encoding Cong. Eric as COVID-19 positive, at once he ruled out any punitive action against RITM or its staff  

My longtime friend Cong. Eric fully understands the possible human error that could occur at any time in the course of such an intricate laboratory test in diagnosing coronavirus infection.  

He wholeheartedly appreciates the unbelievable job and dedication these public servants render at the frontline, which are the more important human element, in the war on COVID-19.

The experience at RITM all the more prompted Cong. Eric, who happens to chair the House appropriations committee, to push for increased budget for the institute to upgrade its efficiency.

I strongly hope that all the sub-national testing centers in the regions outside Metro Manila in the Visayas and Mindanao would be equipped adequately as well.

The young lawmaker also expressed support for better compensation package for health workers. They deserve no less. A measly P500 per day pay for our volunteer health workers is not even enough to cover for daily allowance.

With better compensation package for our frontline volunteers under RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, and with increasing capacity for testing, there is hope that the we can turn this thing around. It’s welcome news that we have received tens of thousands of testing kits from China, Singapore and business tycoon Jack Ma.

Things are bad as it is but the enhanced community quarantine imposed by the government has helped contain the spread of this global pandemic in the country.

Still, a lockdown in itself is not going to stop or eliminate the local coronavirus epidemic. In fact, it may spur person-to-person transmission inside homes if those who may be sick among us do not get tested at all.

It is the job of the barangay officials, as well as every one of us, to locate and identify those who are showing signs and symptoms of possible infection and assist them in getting proper evaluation by competent medical authorities. If they have to do a house-to-house survey, ala-tokhang, then do so.

It is through proper and efficient testing with which we identify those who are actually sick and need treatment that we can stop the virus’ spread. It is the key to flattening the curve on the COVID-19 incidence. 

The rest of us must cooperate to help make the curve a steep mountain on a graph. Definitely there will be more COVID-19 patients, but there will be fewer people sick at one time as those come in get treatment. 

There is clear indication that COVID-19 positive patients can recover with proper treatment. There's light at the end of the tunnel.

Topics: ACT-CIS , COVID-19 , Eric Go Yap , Department of Health , Research Institute of Tropical Medicine
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