Dr. Arvin Alejandro, Sarangani health officer (File photo courtesy of the provincial government)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The provincial government of Sarangani is working on the establishment of a unified testing and quarantine protocol policy to enhance its response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis, an official said on Wednesday.

Dr. Arvin Alejandro, Sarangani health officer, said they are coordinating with the municipal health offices and other stakeholders in the province to address the gaps and set uniform measures on the matter.

He said the seven municipal governments currently have different policies on testing and quarantine, confusing residents in the process.

The official specifically cited the number of quarantine days that suspected patients need to complete and when they should be tested.

Returning residents have also expressed confusion on the duration of the quarantine period and the testing requirement.

“We’re trying to come up with a unified policy on that to harmonize the efforts of our LGUs (local government units),” Alejandro said in a report.

He said the move will address the problems on poor implementation of quarantine protocols at the barangay and municipal levels.

These include the lack of compliance among persons undergoing home quarantine that has resulted in virus transmission among household members.

The Department of Health-Region 12 (Soccsksargen) reported a total of 466 active Covid-19 cases in Sarangani as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, the second-lowest in the region.

The confirmed infections in the area since last year have reached a total of 2,673, with 41 related deaths and 2,166 recoveries.

Alejandro said they have sustained the risk-based targeted antigen testing in the seven municipalities to capture as early as possible the probable Covid-19 cases, especially those who are asymptomatic.

From May 1 to June 30, he said they already conducted a total of 10,545 antigen testing, with 830 coming out positive.

About 70 percent of those who turned out positive in the antigen method tested the same in confirmatory reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing. (PNA)