SARANGANI – 700 asymptomatic and silent spreaders of the killer virus covid-19 have been detected by the Health Department in this province since the department expanded its targeted listing in late April.
In a radio interview, Dr. Arvin Alejandro, provincial health officer, said they were able to detect and immediately isolated the infected residents of the coronavirus disease. Had their detection took longer period, massive spread of the virus could have spill over to more communities, he added.
He said right now testing activities are still ongoing in five municipalities involving areas frequented by residents.
“If we were not able to catch these asymptomatic cases, they could have been silent massive spreaders and our infections could have quadrupled by now,” the doctor said.
It was learned that Sarangani Gov Steve Chiongban Solon has ordered the targetted testing in Kiamba and Maitum towns last April 26. The five other towns included in the project were the towns of Malapatan, Glan, Malungon, Alabel and Maasim.
Alejandro said they have carefully identified the top 10 populated barangays in each municipality and implemented the targetted testing among workers in business establishments, local government offices and facilities and individuals in different areas frequented by people.
In Kiamba, where the project piloted, there were 200 positive cases they have identified. Some of the confirmed cases were fishermen and based on tracing, these fishermen frequented at the fish port complex.
“We still anticipate a spike in cases in the coming days, especially in areas that have just started to roll out their testing activities,” he said, adding they, however, expect the number of infections to eventually drop as they continue to track and isolate the positive cases in the communities.
Based on DOH-12 record as of 6pm Thursday, the province has 289 active cases, considered the lowest in the region.
Last year, the province has confirmed covid cases of 1,585, with 25 related deaths, also both lowest in the region. While it also posted total recoveries of 1,271. – (PNA)