Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) laboratories are getting overwhelmed with specimens of people who undertook Covid-19 tests as the number of new cases continues to surge in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) said. 

“We’ve been getting reports that there are queues, long queues in our laboratories now,” Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire said. 

“And our laboratories actually have instituted a maximum number…in terms of their capacity, they have set a limit per day,” she added.

Vergeire shared the update a day after laboratories reported that they are flooded with pending Covid-19 test results. 

“What we are doing now is we can use the Covid-19 antigen test for those who have symptoms, especially for the first five days of your illness,” Vergeire added.

Vergeire said close contacts of people who were exposed to a Covid-19 case can also use an alternative method of Covid-19 testing. 

The DOH advises a 10-day isolation period for fully vaccinated individuals who tested positive for Covid-19 — either asymptomatic, mild or a moderate case.

The health department added that those with severe and critical Covid-19 symptoms despite being fully vaccinated should be isolated for at least 21 days.

On the other hand, fully vaccinated close contacts of a Covid-19 patient must undergo quarantine for at least seven days. Ronald Espartinez