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Swab tests conducted by 'trained, skilled' individuals, DOH says amid safety concerns

The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday assured the public that persons conducting nasal swab tests for COVID-19 in the country are "skilled and trained" to conduct such tests to avoid any untoward incident.

Interviewed on Unang Hirit, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the department has strict standards in handing out licenses to facilities conducting the tests.

"Ang DOH, sinisiguro na maging ligtas ang mga specimen collection na ginagawa natin. Kasama yan sa standards ng paglilisensya na ginagawa natin," she said.

Vergeire gave the assurance following reports of an incident in the United States where a COVID-19 nasal swab test ruptured the lining at the base of a woman's skull, causing cerebrospinal fluid to leak from her nose and putting her at risk of brain infection.

The patient, according to reports, had an undiagnosed rare condition and the test she received may have been carried out improperly.

Aside from being skilled and trained, those conducting the tests are also required by the DOH to wear protective personal equipment and use the proper medical tools, according to Vergeire.

"Lahat ng gumagawa [ng swab test], skilled and trained for doing this, tapos kelangan nasa appropriate environment, kelangan po nakasuot ng PPE tsaka tama yung ginagamit na kagaamitan kapag ginawa yan," she said. —KBK, GMA News