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Asymptomatic close contacts of QC's COVID-19 cases to undergo swab tests

Asymptomatic close contacts of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in Quezon City will now have to undergo swab testing as part of the local government’s efforts to curb the spread of the virus in the city.

According to Saleema Refran’s report on “24 Oras,” close contacts previously must have COVID-19 symptoms before having to undergo swabbing for a PCR test.

“Ang idea is to stop the transmission, to cut the transmission, kahit hindi pa tayo sigurado ‘yung mga close contact ay magkakaroon nga ng COVID, but at least na-quarantine na natin sila and we prioritize testing them,” Rolly Cruz, Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit chief, said.

Based on contact tracing guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, close contacts are those who came in contact with a COVID-19 patient for no less than 15 minutes and within six feet of the positive patient, two days before he or she experienced symptoms.

However, asymptomatic close contacts are those who interacted with the positive case two days before the patient took a swab test. This are also the guidelines followed by the Department of Health.

Meanwhile, the 14-day backtracking of patients will be used for the investigation of the transmission of the illness.

“Collectively, maka-analyze natin ‘yung data natin, makita natin bakit sa grocery na ito ang daming nag-sasabi na dito sila nag karoon ng COVID o na-expose sa COVID. Bakit sa call center na ito ang daming nagkakaroon ng COVID sa kanyang mga empleyado,” Cruz said.

At present, Quezon City has a total of 2,045 active cases and 8,682 suspected cases from close contacts that were traced.  -Joahna Lei Casilao/NB, GMA News