Mandaluyong City Tests All Market Vendors for COVID-19

Aside from tricycle drivers.

(SPOT.ph) While the Department of Health deems that it would not be "cost effective" to test asymptomatic individuals for COVID-19 due to limited budget, local government units in Metro Manila are exhausting all efforts to conduct mass testing for their respective cities' public workers. Mandaluyong City on May 25 facilitated rapid antibody testing for all market vendors in Barangay Barangka Drive. Mayor Menchie Abalos had directed the City Health Office to ensure that vendors in all barangays are tested for the virus.

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In a report by Manila Bulletin, City Public Information Officer Jimmy Isidro disclosed that 50 tricycle drivers in Mandaluyong tested positive after mass rapid antibody testing in their sector. These individuals remain in isolation while awaiting results of confirmatory testing through RT-PCR. The local government said that they have tested up to 3,000 tricycle drivers.

Rapid antibody testing, which is cheaper and faster than RT-PCR testing, is not entirely "reliable for diagnosis," according to a SPOT.ph interview with science research specialist Joshua Miguel Danac. Not all patients with COVID-19 immediately produce antibodies, so the rapid antibody testing may not turn out positive even if you already have the virus. But it's one step towards estimation of local transmission and detection, which is always better than not doing anything in the middle of a pandemic.

Main photo from Mandaluyong City Public Information Office

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