DOH: PBA referee should’ve been tested with RT-PCR anew, not antigen test
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday said that the referee working for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) bubble in Pampanga should have taken a real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, instead of an antigen test, to see if he really contracted COVID-19.
This comes after the PBA, the Clark Development Corporation (CDC), and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said that the referee, who was asymptomatic, may have been a case of “false positive” after his RT-PCR test yielded a positive result. The referee then took another test, lthis time an antigen test, that yielded a negative result.
The referee is currently on a strict 14-day quarantine at the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City, and will undergo another RT-PCR test. His close contacts, meanwhile, will also undergo for RT-PCR testing on Saturday, Oct. 24.
“It would have been better if he was tested again by an RT-PCR and not antigen [test],” DOH spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters in an online press briefing.
According to the DOH spokeswoman, the antigen test results would only be accurate if a person is “infectious, has a high viral load, and is symptomatic.”
“So it might be that when he [was] tested with antigen, the patient is just pre-symptomatic, the viral load is still not that high kaya nag-negative siya sa (that’s why he tested negative) on the antigen test,” Vergeire explained.
“Kailangan lang po maulit agad yung RT-PCR [test] niya, wag na ho magpa-Sabado pa. Sana po maulit na yung RT-PCR para po tayo ng mas better appreciation nitong mga test na isinagawa sa pasyente,” Vergeire later said.
(His RT-PCR test should be done immediately, it should not be conducted until Saturday. His RT-PCR test should be repeated so that we will have a better appreciation of the test done to the patient.)
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.