Employees are back to reporting for work during the general community quarantine or GCQ, and while businesses and companies are slowly falling slipping back into the usual routine, the threat of COVID-19 is still present. Every time workers leave their homes to work, they run the risk of contracting the virus.
For this reason, the Department of Health (DOH) on July 16 urged businesses and companies to do random COVID-19 screenings among their employees via rapid tests every two weeks.
Rapid tests can detect the presence of COVID-19 antibodies. However, antibodies only show up between the fifth and seven day of illness, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
While the rapid test yields results faster than the gold standard RT-PCR tests, using the test for mass screening is not recommended, and is better suited for sampling a random set of workers, she added.
“Para lang po makikita niyo, mamo-monitor niyo po iyong trend. Kung nagkakaroon talaga ng kaso within your company. (This is so you can see and monitor the trend, if there are cases within your company),” Vergeire said in an ANC interview.
The DOH also advised against “indiscriminate” nasal swab tests.
“Testing is a point-in-time event, meaning if you get tested today, tomorrow if you go out for work, you’ll get exposed and then maybe you’ll get the disease again,” she explained. It is for this very reason that the health department discourages “indiscriminate” nasal swab tests, and recommends testing high-risk individuals.
As of July 15, 4 p.m., the Philippines has recorded 58,850 COVID-19 cases, with 20,976 recoveries and 1,614 deaths.