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Valenzuela thanks Nograles for supporting mass testing of PUMs 

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Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian thanked Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles for listening to his suggestion to consider all persons under monitoring (PUMs) for mass testing although the Department of Health (DOH) already removed them from their new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case definition.

“Thank you IATF!!! Thank you Sec. Nograles for pushing this,” Gatchalian said in his Twitter post on Saturday.

Nograles, in his earlier virtual press briefing, said that Gatchalian was “right” when he included all PUMs in their mass testing program despite not showing any symptoms. He also assured the public that that is what they would also do at the national level.

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“Sinabi ko nga po na kasama ‘yung PUMs. So kahit na ganoon na yung bagong classification ng WHO, which sinunod naman po ng bansang Pilipinas, we went over and beyond that [I have said that PUMs are already included. So even the WHO has already new classification, which we follow, we went over and beyond that],” Nograles said.

“In other words, yung PUMs, PUMs pa rin for purposes of tinatawag na testing. Hindi po mawawala sa equation namin yung pagtetest [PUMs should still be recognized as PUMs for the purpose of testing. They would not be excluded from our equation],” he added.

It can be recalled that Gatchalian kept calling on the DOH to “revisit” their mass testing protocols after seven Valenzuela residents have been discovered positive for COVID-19.

Since they not showing any symptoms, they were not recognized as probable or suspected COVID-19 case, based on the new DOH guidelines.

“But when we swabbed [them anyway], they turned out positive,” Gatchalian said, stressing that there might be more silent “carriers” and we might be “in danger of releasing potential carries into the community that may lead to contagion.”


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