Testing on 7th day of quarantine ‘science-based’: expert

The recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Technical Advisory Groups for a 10-day facility-based quarantine for returning overseas Filipino workers and their testing for Covid-19 on the seventh day of quarantine is based on solid science, an infectious disease expert said Monday.

In a social media post, Dr. Edsel Salvana said the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention has done the modelling which showed that residual risk of infection after 10 days of quarantine is acceptable but is not acceptable on testing upon arrival.

Salvana, director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of the Philippines Manila National Institutes of Health, said more cases are diagnosed on the seventh day of quarantine.

“We are seeing a major increase in the Delta variant globally, which is about 60 percent more contagious than Alpha. The United Kingdom is having an unprecedented spike in cases, mostly from the Delta variant in the unvaccinated people and they have had to delay their opening because of this surge,” he said.

Citing variants of concern are all expected among returning travelers, Salvana recommended the observance of science-based practices.

These include:

–Ten-day quarantine for all returning travelers and testing on their seventh day of quarantine and not upon arrival;

–International verification of vaccination status for returning vaccinated Filipinos with confirmable vaccination status locally;

–Wearing of face mask and face shields and observance of physical distancing; and

–Vaccinate country’s population against Covid-19.

“These restrictions are not forever, and we will be able to relax these measures eventually. Forcing the issue will just prolong the pandemic and will cost more lives,” Salvana said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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