MANILA – The Quezon City government is receiving a high volume of requests for free reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or swab test from its residents, as the city logged the highest number of new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the National Capital Region (NCR).
The OCTA Research Group reported that QC listed the highest number of new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday with 1,781, followed by Manila with 1,407, and Makati with 605.
QC is the largest city in Metro Manila.
It said the NCR daily positivity rate is now at 45 percent.
“This projects to 15,000 to 16,000 new Covid-19 cases in the Philippines on January 6, with 10,000 to 11,000 new cases in the NCR. This would eclipse the previous high in the NCR of 9,031 on September 11, 2021. And the surge has not peaked yet. The country is expected to exceed 20,000 new cases by January 7,” OCTA Research Group fellow Dr. Guido David said in his Twitter post Thursday.
QC Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) head Dr. Rolly Cruz said swab tests are in high demand right now.
“We observed a rapid increase in the number of people who want to get tested, mostly from those who experience symptoms such as colds and coughs, which is also common during this season,” Cruz said.
He added the rise in the number of persons wanting to be tested affected the turnaround time in the release of test results.
Aside from the free swab tests by the city government, private laboratories also reported increases in requests for RT-PCR tests.
Most requests for swab tests come from people who have experienced flu-like symptoms or had been exposed to a confirmed positive person in the last days and weeks during the holiday season.
Cruz said they are prioritizing individuals with moderate to severe symptoms, such as those who are experiencing difficulty in breathing, those who are still unvaccinated against Covid-19, and those living in closely populated and high-risk areas.
Those who are unable to book a schedule for swab tests but experience symptoms are urged to isolate themselves from their family members.
“We advise QCitizens who are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as colds, runny nose, cough or fever, to isolate themselves from their family members immediately,” Cruz said.
Meanwhile, QC Mayor Joy Belmonte called on their constituents to receive the Covid-19 booster shot as soon as possible for increased protection against the disease.
She, however, assured that the city government is ready for the possibility of another surge as they have started preparing the city’s district hospitals, quarantine and isolation facilities, testing areas, and vaccination sites to accommodate more residents.
As of Wednesday, the city government logged a total of 5,607 or 3.01 percent active Covid-19 cases.
The total number of recoveries reached 178,834 or 96.11 percent, while the number of deaths was at 1,632 or 0.88 percent. (PNA)