CAGAYAN DE ORO, Nov. 18 (PIA) – On the onset of the ninth month since the start of the first COVID-19 case in Northern Mindanao, the Department of Health (DOH) – 10 has updated its time-based testing and recovery strategy protocols attuned to the new found studies from the World Health Organization (WHO).

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“COVID-19 is a relatively new virus. At the start of the pandemic, we still didn’t have much information about it. However, as months went by the number of studies has vastly improved. So, now when we talk about COVID-19, one of the critical things that we have found is that the virus will stay inside of the person as a live infectious virus up to nine-days and on the tenth day onwards, you are no longer contagious,” Infectious Diseases Cluster head, Dr. Ian Christian Gonzales shared during Talakayan sa PIA.

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As far as COVID-19 testing goes, swabbing is the only way to know whether an individual has the virus or not before being reintegrated again to the general public. But in the recent changes on how to treat COVID-19 positive patients based on the WHO standards, the DOH-10 has adhered to time-based strategy standards.

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In DOH-10’s new time-based strategy protocol, individuals are classified as non-infectious on the tenth-day since the diagnosis of the virus if they show no symptoms for three days straight within the ten-day quarantine period. They are also no longer required to get two negative COVID-19 test results before being tagged as recovered.

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“Singapore, the European CDC, US CDC, and other public health agencies around the world are doing this, our new basis now is not the negative test results but rather the time that has elapsed since the start of his diagnosis in adoption of the new studies,” Dr. Gonzales emphasized.

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The rationale for this, he said, was that recent scientific studies have shown that the virus was no longer infectious inside a person’s body in its ninth-day inside the body.

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“For moderate, severe, or critical cases where-in they are admitted in the NMMC for example, their isolation period is 21 days since it is known that the more severe the case, the higher the viral load,” he added while reiterating that there is no need for a repeat of the test prior to discharge.

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With its new recovery strategy, Dr. Gonzales shares the need for cooperation in all facets of society. “The government is doing a lot and its best combining efforts from the regional, national, and even international level. We really cannot do it alone, we need support from the private-sector and the communities to follow our health guidelines,” Dr. Gonzales declared. (VPSBautista/PIA10)

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