BAGUIO CITY – The city government has continued to beef up its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing capacity which has been pegged at 16.6 percent as of November. 4.

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Mayor Benjamin Magalong
(JJ Landingin / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said this was computed based on the 61,692 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests that have been done with regard the city’s population of 370,108.

“If the 6,000 antigen tests conducted will be counted, the capacity rate can go higher at 18 percent,” he said.

Magalong said the city’s testing rate may be the highest in the country at present.

He said the city will continue to find ways to sustain its expanded testing activities which along with contact tracing is one of its flagship programs to counter COVID-19.

 “The more tests we do, the more infections we find and the sooner we find these carriers, the more we are able to administer control measures like contact tracing, more testing, isolation and quarantine to prevent more transmissions and medical interventions to treat the patients and prevent deaths,” Magalong said.

As of October 28, expanded testing accounts for 16.9 percent of those found positive, while contact tracing accounted for the 67.5 percent detected.

He thanked agencies for supporting the city’s testing programs, which, he said, enabled the city to know the ground situation and fine tune its control systems.

The testing programs recently conducted in the city, sponsored by the National Task Force on COVID-19, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the ACT-CIS Partylist, targeted high risk sectors like government workers, market vendors, drivers, food delivery workers, gasoline boys, bank employees, garbage collectors, construction workers, security guards and others.

Of the 2,630 tested during the three-day activity, 61 were found positive for a 2.3-percent positivity rate.

“We are not testing blindly.  We are targeting the high risk sectors to look for those who are infected,” Magalong added.

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