7 CDO telecom employees tested positive in antibody tests

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 20 June) – Seven employees of major telecommunication companies with offices in the city tested positive in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) rapid antibody tests done by private medical diagnostic laboratories here.

Firefighters spraying disinfectant on the streets of Cagayan de Oro City to combat the spread of COVID-19. MindaNews file photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

This drew the ire of local authorities after the employees were sent home without undergoing isolation and the confirmatory Xpert Xpress PCR tests.

Mayor Oscar Moreno said the telecom companies and private laboratories did not inform local health authorities and the city government of the tests conducted on the employees.

“It is irresponsible for them to conduct the tests and left the employees to fend for themselves,” Moreno said.

Dr. Joselito Retuya, epidemiologist at the Cagayan de Oro City Health Office, said they were informed of the incident after one of the seven employees informed health workers in Barangay Agusan where he resides that he tested positive of the rapid antibody tests.

Retuya said the companies and laboratories should have informed the City Health Office so the employees can be given more tests through Xpert Express PCR.

He said word that seven employees tested positive quickly spread through social media, alarming residents here.

“These companies are reckless. What they have done could spread the virus in the city,” Moreno said.

The mayor warned at least three private diagnostic laboratories that their business licenses would be revoked if they continue conducting rapid tests without informing authorities.

He also demanded from the telecom companies to explain why they conducted the tests without informing authorities.

Moreno said the companies and laboratories violated some provisions of Republic Act 11469 or “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.” (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)