Dr. Ana York Bondoc-Sagum ‘s FB page
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — “Rapid testing is not accurate and must be stopped now!”
Former 4th District Rep. Anna York Bondoc-Sagum made the stirring cry in a video posted on her social media page, as part of her advocacy to stop what she called “wrong clinical practice.”
Bondoc-Sagum, a pulmonary specialist, said she had sent a letter to President Duterte appealing to put a stop to rapid testing or anti-body testing for its unreliability due to its wrong clinical use.
She said the method is a waste of resources, time and effort as other countries such as Australia, Dubai, and India have put a stop it due to inaccuracy of results of false positives as well as false negatives that gravely endanger public health.
She cited as an example the Balik Probinsya program of the government, whereby a large number of beneficiaries who tested negative in rapid testing prior to their journey back to their provinces turned out positive when they were tested anew at their destination points.
“The wrong clinical results and decisions have been fueling the rise of coronavirus cases not only in Metro Manila but also in other parts of the country,” she said, even as she lamented that the abuse and wrong use of rapid testing is widely occurring daily perpetuated by both the government and private sectors.
She said many casinos, restaurants, malls, hospitals, and other establishments have required their employees to undergo rapid testing every two weeks.
“Big corporations are requiring their employees for rapid testing before returning to work. This will happen again en masse after the modified enhance community quarantine,” she said.
Bondoc-Sagum noted how local government units and other agencies require rapid testing for “unclear reasons” and how hospitals also require patients to test before going to the operating room, delivery, or even before admission.
“No work no pay for a false positive test. LGUs wasted time and effort sending to quarantine those false positive, whereas those false negatives are sent back to the community unmindful of the danger that they might spread the virus,” she said.
The former congresswoman said she enclosed all these concerns in an electronic mail she tried to send to the President and repeatedly called the Office of the Presidential Management Staff but she has yet to get any response.
“Rapid testing must be stopped, it is seriously damaging the country’s effort in combatting Covid-19,” she said, adding that medical societies in the Philippines have already agreed to stop rapid testing and that it should not be used to diagnose acute Covid-19 cases.