Mayor Marc Brian Lim has opted to donate 8 months of his salary to buy 1,000 units of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) rapid anti-body test kits (RATK) for patients under investigation (PUIs) and persons under monitoring (PUMs) in Dagupan City.
“The test kits, which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, are sold commercially at about PHP1,000 each costing Mayor Lim about PHP1 million, the equivalent of his salary for eight months,” the Dagupan PIO said in a statement.
It explains that Mayor Lim decided to use his personal money to buy the test kits as the Department of Health’s Circular No. 2020-0160 mandates that no public funds should be used to buy the rapid test kits.
This is because the DOH states that the RATK can only detect the presence of antibodies produced by an individual to fight the virus and can only be used as an “adjunct tool” after a person under investigation (PUI) has completed his or her 14-day quarantine, asymptomatic and discharged from a health facility.
The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, which detect the actual presence of the virus, remains the “gold standard” in testing for COVID-19.
Mayor Lim holds that despite the RATK results not being confirmatory, it will allow the city government to be “better equipped in making strategic decisions and exercising other precautionary health measures in dealing with patients.”
Dagupan City currently has 42 COVID-19 PUIs. 4 are being treated in various hospitals while 11 have already been discharged. 15 have completed their 14-day home quarantine while 9 are still in the midst of it. The city astrodome has been prepared as a halfway house for PUIs should the need arise.
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