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DOH targets to release guidelines for various COVID-19 tests next week

The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said the release of its omnibus guidelines for various COVID-19 testing procedures could happen next week.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said this would include specific "pathways" or protocols for locally stranded individuals, returning overseas Filipinos, domestic and international tourists, and workers, among others.

"Dapat may separate algorithms, maipakita namin kung anong test ang puwedeng gamitin sa kanila, paano ang proseso, how will they be isolated, how will they be managed and when can they be allowed to travel," Vergeire said in an online forum.

Guidelines on the proper usage of antigen test for the detection of COVID-19 will also be incorporated in the document, according to the DOH official.

The more convenient saliva test, on the other hand, is still being studied by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

Vergeire said the omnibus guidelines will likewise include policies for surveillance, contact tracing, and isolation.

Specific guidelines for home quarantine will be covered too, she added.

"Hopefully by next week we can already have the approval [of the Inter-Agency Task Force] so that we can issue the guidelines," Vergeire said. — RSJ, GMA News