Ilocos Sur governor to buy rapid test kits for PUIs

VIGAN CITY — Ilocos Sur governor Ryan Luis Singson, in an announcement posted on Facebook today, said that he has ordered the purchase of FDA approved rapid test kits to be used for testing PUIs.

“Guided by the medical experts from the Provincial Health Office, [I] ordered the purchase of FDA approved Rapid Test Kits from my own salary in order to start testing PUIs and their contacts right away,” he said in the announcement that comprised his regular update on the state of COVID-19 infection and government response in the province.

The governor noted that the current turnaround time for COVID-19 testing from government-approved laboratories is from 5-12 days. In the intervening period, the condition of a PUI may worsen or even result to death, he noted.

Not knowing if a PUI is COVID-19 positive exposes household members and health workers to risks, the governor remarked, but the situation can be prevented if the result of a test can be known in just a few minutes which is possible by using a rapid test kit.

In the same announcement, Gov Singson revealed that the province received the results of four tests, all turning out to be negative, while thirteen more tests are still pending. The province currently has eighteen PUIs, all of whom are receiving appropriate medical attention in separate medical facilities. Four PUIs have died while waiting for their test results.

The governor clarified that the rapid screening tests will only be used as preliminary assessment tool and the official RITM result will remain as the confirmatory test.

He reiterated his order for his constituents to stay home, to listen to the advice of the government and health officials, and to truthfully declare their medical history whenever necessary.