TO ensure that individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 will be immediately informed of their condition and would not infect others unknowingly, the Philippine Red Cross will now be releasing positive results directly to the individuals tested.
Senator Richard J. Gordon, PRC chairman and CEO, said the Department of Health has authorized the PRC to do so.
“We welcome the DOH authorization, given the urgency of the situation where more positive COVID cases are recorded in our country. They may have been dangerously increasing community transmission of the disease. We have devised a mechanism for releasing positive results to the individuals concerned without compromising the necessary protocols,” he said, adding that positive results would be sent to the DOH first and then to the individuals after a few hours.
Previously, the PRC has been sending negative results directly to concerned individuals but positive results were sent to the DOH since these situations may produce perilous consequences and the DOH is in a better position and better equipped to enforce government mandated health and safety protocols, which are embodied in the law and its implementing rules and regulations.
However, the PRC recently asked the DOH for authorization to release positive results directly to the individuals after becoming concerned that people who tested positive have not been informed of their results, hence, they have not been isolated and separated from their communities.
“The Department of Health confirms that the Philippine Red Cross may release both positive and negative results directly to the patients and individuals tested. The DOH, notes and poses no objection to the proposed mechanism of PRC that the positive results shall initially be released to the DOH prior to individuals to trigger appropriate surveillance efforts of the national government and concerned local governments,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said in a letter dated Aug. 22.
Gordon gave assurances that given the sensitivity of the issue, the results will be released to individuals accompanied with steps that they should follow. He said PRC doctors will also talk to the individuals and they would also be given psychosocial support.
“Once the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act or Bayanihan 2 is signed into law and implemented, masasabihan na din namin sila kung saang ospital o quarantine facility sila pwedeng pumunta dahil may provision dun na mage-establish ng National Referral System for COVID-19 which will be jointly developed by the DOH and the PRC,” he further said.
Duque also commended the PRC anew for its steadfast commitment to ensure the health of Filipinos.
“Again, we commend and fully support PRC for your steadfast commitment to elevate the health of the Filipinos, through the provision of essential health services. Truly, the PRC has been an invaluable partner in our pandemic response efforts,” the health chief said.