BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The lack of personnel hampered the conduct of the expanded contact tracing through the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) all over the province, admitted Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday.
The ongoing massive vaccination activities in all towns and cities of Negros Occidental also contributed to the delay in the conduct of antigen testing to close contacts of COVID-19 positive patients, Lacson said.
He noted that vaccination has been given priority in some areas of the province.
Lacson lauded that municipality of Pontevedra for creating a team of contact tracing, aside from those engaged in the ongoing vaccination program.
Mayor Jose Maria Alonso and Mayor Ernesto Estrao earlier urged the provincial government to include their respective towns, as among the pilot areas in the RAT expanded contact tracing.
Of the 599 persons subjected to contact tracing on Oct. 9, 56 tested positive for infection. The second leg of expanded contact tracing resumed yesterday in 12 towns and cities of the province.
Of the 87 Pontevedra residents subjected to antigen testing, Alonso said that 12 of them were tested positive for infection.
Those tested positive have been immediately placed under isolation, he added.
Lacson supported the suggestion of Provincial Consultant on Economic Affairs and Investment Alfredo Benitez of expanding the contact tracing through the Rapid Antigen Test, especially in areas where the local chief executives are ready.*