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1,789 LGU Naga employees undergo rapid antibody test

A member of the Public Safety Office decontamination team disinfects two of the 200 modular cubicle tents donated to the city government of Naga by the Jesse M. Robredo Foundation and the Office of the Vice President last Monday (July 27, 2020). The donaion came while the city government was looking for ways to augment the bed capacity of its isolation facilities. JBN/RB/CEPPIO

NAGA CITY --- Some 1,789 permanent, casual, job order and contractual employees of the Naga City government have underwent rapid antibody test (RAT) after a registrar assistant at the City College of Naga and a cashier at the Market Enterprise and Promotions Office were tested positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Mayor Nelson Legacion said the rapid antibody testing, which was undertaken from Monday to Wednesday, this week, would allow the Health Emergency Response Task Force (HERTF) to determine the number of employees possibly infected by the dreaded disease.

“The test will also help us to define what expeditious action we have to take in so far as the recovery of those who have been infected is concerned, alongside with the safety and health protocols we have to implement to protect those doing transactions with our offices from possible infection,” he said.

Dr. Butch Borja, city health officer and HERTF chairman, said Bicol #289 is a registrar assistant at the City College of Naga who was traced to have contacts with employees of the different City Hall offices days before she tested positive for the virus on July 22.

The situation compelled Legacion to immediately order on the following day (July 23) the temporary closure of at least seven offices, including the City Mayor’s Office, where the female employee was believed to have made official transactions.

The death of Bicol#351 on July 28, the aunt of Bicol #289, has brought to two the number of deaths in the city with Bicol #12 who died in April this year.

Bicol #369, a cashier at the Market Enterprise and Promotions Office, was tested positive for the virus on July 26 along with all the members of his household.

Test results released on Monday, July 27, have sent 32 employees (9 IgM, 6 IgG and IgM, and 17 IgG) to quarantine in Barangay Pacol. They underwent swab testing the next morning similar with the last Tuesday’s 44 (22 IgG, 13 IgM, and 9 IgG and IgM) who submitted themselves to reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) the following day.

Wednesday’s RAT results disclosed 46 more employees (14 IgM, 23 IgG and 9 IgG/IgM) were tested positive and have been scheduled to undergo similar health procedures on July 29.

Borja said the employees’ RT-PCR/swab test results will be readily available by Wednesday, Aug. 5.

Antibody Test for IgG – detects IgG antibodies that develop in most patients within seven to 10 days after symptoms of Covid-19 begin. IgG antibodies remain in the blood after an infection has passed. These antibodies indicate that a person may have had Covid-19 in the recent past and have developed antibodies that may protect him/her from future infection. It is unknown at this point how much protection antibodies might provide against reinfection.

Antibody Test for IgM – detects IgM antibodies. IgM is usually the first antibody produced by the immune system when a virus attacks. A positive IgM test indicates that one may have been infected and that his/her immune system has started responding to the virus. When IgM is detected, a person may still be infected, or may have recently recovered from a Covid-19 infection.

EARLY BIRD. Assistant Department Head Jose A. Cuyo (center, sitting) of the City Mayor’s Office leads the pack of city government employees who lined up early Monday morning this week for rapid antibody test. JBN/VV/CEPPIO

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