Residents in CDO village with 3 COVID deaths shy away from rapid testing

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 28 June) —  Despite enticement of free rice and canned goods, many residents of Barangay Carmen have shied away from the COVID-19 mass antibody rapid tests conducted by the City Health Office here.

Dr. Joselito Retuya, the city’s chief epidemiologist, said only 40 residents have availed of the rapid test on Wednesday and another 30 came last Thursday.

The City Health Office (CHO) and the Department of Health had earlier targeted 500 residents pre-selected in Barangay Carmen where three residents died of COVID-19 and eight others were infected.

A City Health Office worker administers a rapid antibody test on one of the residents of Barangay Carmen, Cagayan de Oro on Thursday, June 25, 2020. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

The rapid testing is part of the seroprevalence survey that would have helped determine the extent of the coronavirus infection in the village.

Those with positive results in the rapid test will be swabbed for the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test and brought to an isolation facility while awaiting results.

Reutuya said they would have to scale down their targets because of this development.

“We earlier think if we could get 350 respondents then this survey would be a success,” Retuya said.

Retuya said they also extended the mass testing until July 2. It was supposed to have ended over the weekend. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)