The 18 Senate employees who have tested positive from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection through rapid antibody test on Monday are set to be retested with a Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) for final validation if they are indeed infected, the Department of Health (DOH) announced Tuesday. 

Hindi po standalone test ang rapid anti-body test. Kailangan po ma-validate po ito ng RT-PCR test,” Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire said.

Saan po ba sila nag-positive? Sa IgM o sa IgG?,” she added, referring to the antibody isotopes.

Vergeire said testing positive for IgM is a sign of active infection while acquiring IgG means that a person has recently recovered, adding that those who contracted the IgM should be immediately sent to quarantine. 

Kung nag-positive po sa IgM, hindi na po natin kailangan antayin ang resulta ng RT-PCR. Kailangan na po iyan i-extract sa kanyang komunidad,” she further clarified.

PCR-based testing is recognized as the gold standard in tracing COVID-19 as it scans the actual virus in samples with a turnaround time of two to four days. (RJ Espartinez)