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1,000 free RT-PCR tests available for passengers

The city government is strengthening its case-finding efforts by offering free swab testing for passengers arriving at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport starting on June 29, 2020.

All air passengers who arrived in Davao City on June 8, 2020, whether experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus or those who are asymptomatic, can also avail of the free and voluntary testing on June 29.

Duterte said the free reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for the passengers is one of the efforts of the city for the COVID-19 case finding.

“This is one of our ways of finding patients, apart from the contact-tracing and case-finding in our communities. We have a budget from our Bayanihan Grant that was passed last April, and we will use it for the voluntary and free testing for passengers who arrived by airplane beginning June 8 until the present,” the mayor said.

Around 1,000 RT-PCR testing kits are ready for the free and voluntary testing for passengers who arrived in Davao City from June 8, 2020, to the present.

“We have a list but for now we are looking for volunteers. Asymptomatic or symptomatic – meaning if you have cough, colds, or fever, or even if you don’t have these, you may avail of the free testing starting on Monday,” she said.

Before the start date, the city government will release the full details on how to avail of the free testing.

Meantime, air travel passengers may reach out to the Covid-19 Task Force Operation Center for the details on how they can avail of the free testing. They may contact the Covid-19 OpCen through 0917 508 6548 for Globe users; 0919 071 1111 for Smart users; or, dial (082) 244-0181 for information.

Wear face mask even if
uncomfortable – mayor

MAYOR Sara Duterte has emphasized the benefits of wearing masks at work and in public places where physical distancing is impossible.

The mayor made the remark following reports that some employees, especially those in business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, feel uncomfortable wearing masks while communicating with their customers.

“This is most useful in call centers because there are a lot of people staying in one place, in one room,” she said over the Davao City Disaster Radio on Wednesday.

Citing doctors’ explanations on the levels of risk of wearing masks over not wearing, the mayor said that if an asymptomatic person does not wear a face mask, they can increase the transmission inside the room.

There is also a risk of transmitting the disease of the asymptomatic person not wearing masks to another person wearing a mask. There is a medium risk of getting a transmission from the asymptomatic or the COVID-19 positive person wearing masks to the person not wearing a mask.

If both persons in one room wear masks and working six feet apart, there is a very low chance of virus transmission, the mayor added.

“It is very important to require those asymptomatic COVID-19 persons to wear a mask although we still cannot determine if they are positive unless we test them,” she stressed.

The mayor said the wearing of masks also protects vulnerable people such as the children, senior citizens, and those who have an existing disease or underlying medical conditions.

“True, it is difficult to breathe and talk while wearing a mask but it is something that we need to do to protect those who are in our homes,” she added.

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