By ROCAYA SUMNDAD OTICAL YAHYA
MARAWI CITY: The Mindanao State University (MSU) has belied media reports that the 87 returning Surigaonon students from the university have been tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
MSU System President Habib W. Macaayong said that it is not true that all of the 87 stranded students that MSU brought home to Surigao del Norte have been tested Covid-19 positive based on the results of Rapid Antibody Tests (RAT) as reported by the media.
In a statement, Macaayong said that on May 16, 2020, MSU returned the 87 stranded students to Surigao del Norte together with 288 others from the CARAGA Region.
“As mandated under DOH quarantine protocol, all returnees underwent the Rapid Antibodies Test or RAT upon arrival prior to their 14-day isolation in a quarantine facility,” he said. It turned out that one student tested ‘inconclusive’, he added.
Surigao del Norte provincial health authorities conducted a follow up test to determine a conclusive result. The second test showed the presence of antibodies in the student’s body system, according to the MSU president.
Media reported however that the RAT result revealed the students are tested positive which is posted and shared in various media platforms. “Worse, reactions to the news range from fear to condemnation,” he said.
He assured that a RAT result is not the final determination of an individual’s health condition being relatively less precise than other reliable methods.
“It is simply the trigger to subject the student further to swab sampling on May 25th, after which the swabs will be sent to Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City for the more accurate and reliable test, the RT-PCR. And only then after 4-5 days shall the student’s case be confirmed as Covid-19 or a false alarm,” he said
Macaayong appealed to reporters and media enthusiasts not to sensationalize the issue and, pending the SPMC test result, “to refrain from posting, sharing, commenting and reacting about this case that has caused unfounded fear, panic, commotion and inconvenience within our community. It does not assuage our hope and prayer that the concerned student is negative of this ailment.”
“I ask everyone instead to take precautions in safeguarding our campus and to continue to practice containment protocols such as social distancing, constant handwashing, wearing of face masks and observing hygienic practices,” Macaayong said. (RSP)