Positive swab tests highest ever – Gordon

Almost one out of four swab tests for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) conducted by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) yielded positive.

PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said the 23-percent positivity rate in tests taken last week was the “highest we have ever seen at the PRC since the start of the pandemic, and it tells us that the virus is spreading unabated.”

In a statement, he said from April 2020 to March this year, the rate was in single digits, the highest being 9 percent last August.

The humanitarian organization has conducted more than two million tests, or 24 percent of the country’s testing output, and 37 percent of all tests in Metro Manila.

Gordon expects the positivity rate will plummet this coming week, saying, “We will likely see the number of daily Covid-19 cases go down because people will probably not be testing as much during Holy Week, but we must not be fooled by this.”

With the Covid-19 cases surging, Gordon called for convalescent plasma donations.

“Covid-19 cases are rising to unprecedented heights recently that we lost in five days what we have gained in five months. We need to have sufficient supply of convalescent plasma to help those who are confined in hospitals due to the disease,” he added.

Convalescent plasma therapy may be given to new coronavirus patients who are hospitalized and could lessen the severity and shorten the length of the disease.

Gordon noted that the Red Cross served 88 hospitals from July last year to March this year, with 784 units of plasma administered to some 686 patients.

Currently, PRC only has eight units of convalescent plasma in their inventory.

Those interested in donating can contact 0917-582-0499 or 0915-399-7718.

Gordon also called on the government to enhance its coordination with the PRC and the private sector to better address the needs of Filipinos most vulnerable to the impact of the pandemic.

“Kailangan magkaroon tayo ng polisiya na matutulungan natin ‘yung mga taong hirap na hirap dahil nagkakasakit sila at hindi makakita ng ospital (There should be a policy to help those who are sick but cannot find a hospital),” he said on Saturday.

He added that the government can help curb the spread of the contagion by assisting the PRC.