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COVID-19 test not required for returning employees: DOH

May 19, 2020 - Tuesday 1:05 PM by PNA

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MANILA – Employees who will be returning to work are not required to undergo a test for the COVID-19, a health official said Monday.

"Inuulit po namin, hindi po required ang mga empleyado ng kanilang employers na ma-test bago po sila pabalikin sa trabaho (Again, employees are not required by their employers to be tested before going back to work)," Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a Covid-19 virtual presser.

Vergeire clarified that the tests performed by the government are for persons who have COVID-19 symptoms.

She advised employers to send any of their symptomatic employees to a DOH-licensed testing laboratory center.

"Bukod dito, nais din namin linawin na ang rapid antibody test ay hindi nakakapagpakita kung ang isang tao ay may kasulukuyang COVID-19 kaya hindi po ito magandang basehan para masabing maari na nating papasukin ang ating mga empleyado (We also want to clarify that a rapid antibody test doesn't show if a person has COVID-19 so it shouldn't be the basis for allowing or not allowing employees to go back to work)," she said.

Earlier, the DOH said rapid antibody test kits can only identify antibodies and not the virus causing COVID-19, and they cannot also detect if a person will contract the disease after being tested.

"Halimbawa, kahit mag-test ka ngayon at lumabas na negative, maaari ka parin mahawa ng sakit bukas o sa mga susunod na araw dahil patuloy po ang inyong possible na (For example, even your test result turns out negative, you can still contract the disease tomorrow and the coming days due to your possible) exposure," Vergeire said.

Vergeire said observance of the preventive measures like safe physical distancing, proper cough etiquette, wearing of face masks, and regular handwashing will protect employees from contracting and spreading the disease in the workplace. (PNA)

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