Gov’t to revise COVID-19 response guidelines
The government will come up with revised omnibus guidelines on COVID-19 testing, detection, isolation, quarantine management, the Department of Health (DOH) said in a report by GMA News.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire made the announcement a day after the Lancet medical journal ranked the country’s efforts in suppressing COVID-19 as 66th out of 91 countries.
“Na-approve na ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) iyong pilot run ng antigen test. Kapag lumabas na ang resulta noon, ilalabas natin ang omnibus guidelines. The whole document will be updated,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire pointed out.
The United States Center for Disease Control defines rapid antigen test as a COVID-19 test conducted using nasopharyngeal or nasal swab specimens and placed directly into a rapid test kit mixed with extraction buffer or reagent to detect the presence of a specific viral antigen, thus implying a current viral infection.
Vergeire, however, earlier said that the sensitivity level of a rapid antigen test should reach 80%—a threshold that is not available among rapid antigen tests in the Philippine market.
Critical care utilization
As this developed, Vergeire said the critical care utilization in National Capital Region (NCR), Calabarzon and Cebu City—where most COVID-19 cases are—have incrementally improved.
Vergeire said that critical care utilization rate in NCR went from 81% in June 67% in August and 58% as of September 20.
Calabarzon figures, on the other hand, went from 59% in September 2 to 56% in September 20.
Critical care utilization rate in Cebu City also went down to 32% from 38% two weeks ago.
“Nade-decongest natin ang ating health care system. This might not be drastic, but we are seeing improvement in our health system,” Vergeire said.
“This is due not only to discharges but also to additional government resources, the One Hospital Command which is a referral network and Oplan Kalinga which facilitates transfer of asymptomatic patients to quarantine facilities,” she added.
The country has recorded 291,789 COVID-19 cases so far. Of this number, 230,643 recovered while 5,049 died.
The number of active cases is at 56,097.
The Inter-Agency Task Force, the policy making body for the government’s COVID-19 response, is expected to come up with revised quarantine protocols at the end of the month.
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