Bohol Island News Staff | Posted on June 10, 2020 at 5:40 p.m.
A capitol health executive allayed fears on news that a returning Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) and another Locally Stranded Individuals (LSI) have tested positive for rapid test.
Doctor Cesar Tomas “Yul” Lopez, the Bohol Provincial Capitol’s spokesman on coronavirus, explained to Boholanos that there is no need to panic and worry over positive IgM or rapid test as this does not necessarily mean the person has contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“Dili angay makugang kung dunay moingon nga positive sa IgM (You shouldn’t be startled when someone says a person tested positive of IgM)… That is non specific,” Lopez said during the regular Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh) Updates aired via Facebook on Wednesday afternoon.
Lopez added that the public should be more worried if the person’s polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test yields a positive result.
“Ang angay bantayan is ang sa PCR (We should look out for the PCR test result),” he said.
This morning 275 OFWs, who were separately billeted at Hennan Resort and Bellevue Resort in Panglao town, underwent the rapid antibody test.
According to Lopez, one OFW was advised to stay for another seven days as he was IgM positive. He will again undergo another rapid test after the said period.
There were four OFWs who were IgG positive but were given clearance to go home since this could mean that they have enough antibodies to fight the viral infection.
In Sagbayan town, one among the 43 LSIs who went home was IgM positive after the rapid testing.
There were six others who were IgG positive. However, according to a post from the local government unit of Sagbayan, all seven are now in isolation facilities and under close monitoring.
These 43 LSIs arrived in Sagbayan town on Tuesday, June 9. All of them will still undergo the LGU’s mandatory 14-day quarantine before they can go home to their families.
Dr. Lopez said those who are IgM positive should be strictly monitored and would again undergo another rapid test.
RAPID ANTIBODY TEST EXPLAINED: What is IgM and IgG?
According to an advisory by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in the Philippines, the rapid test kits are used to “detect the presence of antibodies in an individual’s blood or serum”.
Antibodies detected by these types of test kits are identified as Total Antibody, IgG antibody and IgM antibody.
Total antibody signifies the collective response of the patient’s immune system.
IgM antibodies represent response to a current or recent infection while IgG antibodies represent response from a past infection.
Some of the kits detect only one antibody – either IgM or IgG.
Some kits detect total antibodies – IgM and IgG together in one result.
Other kits detect both IgG and IgM at the same time but give a separate result for each.
FDA has approved 16 rapid antibody test kits for commercial use as of April 16, 2020.