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This Week in Central Luzon (February 20 to 26, 2021)

Age restrictions in Subic are imposed again.

By: Antonette Louise Guiao | February 20, 2021
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Subic, Subic Bay, quarantine, Health News, swab test, COVID-19, saliva test

Still under modified general community quarantine, Subic Bay continues to implement strict quarantine guidelines. This includes the newly-amended age-based restriction that prohibits minors, senior citizens, pregnant women, and those with other serious health conditions from leaving their homes. The authorities also partnered up with Philippine Red Cross - Olongapo Chapter to offer saliva tests.

Quarantine Update: SBMA imposes age restriction in the Freeport

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority laid out new quarantine guidelines in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive of postponing age-based restrictions. The amended guidelines are as follows:

  • All persons below fifteen (15) years old, over sixty-five (65) years old, those with immunodeficiencies, comorbidities and other health risks, and pregnant women, shall be required to stay at home at all times, except for the purpose of obtaining good and services or for indoor and outdoor non-contact forms of exercise
  • Persons below fifteen (15) years old and over sixty-five (65), those with immunodeficiencies, comorbidities and other health risks, and pregnant women, shall not be allowed entry into the Freeport as tourists or for any leisure activity. [1]

Health News: SBMA partnered with PRC Olongapo to offer saliva RT-PCR tests

In a joint project, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Philippine Red Cross (PRC) - Olongapo Chapter are now giving saliva RT-PCR Tests in Subic Bay Freeport Zone. A saliva RT-PCR test is a more affordable and comfortable alternative to the nasal swab test.

SBMA Chairman WIlma Eisma mentioned that the PRC opened a saliva collection facility at the PRC - SBMA COVID-19 Testing Center near Subic Bay Freeport Zone’s gate for the Saliva Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) Test last February 8.

Eisma added that the saliva test is much cheaper and less painful compared to the nasopharyngeal swabbing, but it’s the same in terms of efficacy because it uses the same system which is the RT-PCR. The procedure is also said to be safer because it requires less contact between the patients and the medical workers. PRC added that the processing also takes less time and results can be released in about 6 to 12 hours. The saliva tests cost around PhP1,500 to PhP2,000 and has an accuracy rate of 98.23%.

SBMA Deputy Administrator for Health and Safety Ronnie Yambao said that there are two booths dedicated for saliva testing at the testing center. The facility will also continue to accommodate those who prefer the nasal swabbing test. Those who wish to take a saliva test at the Freeport should deposit PhP2,000 to the Philippine Red Cross’ Security Bank account and email the proof of payment and details of the patient to The patient, in return, will receive an online registration link to get his/her Retrieval Code which will then be presented at the testing center. [2 & 3]

Go to Yoorekka for more COVID-19 updates in Central Luzon.

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About Antonette Louise Guiao
Antonette is a writer, a night owl, an extrovert, and a BTS ARMY. Her spare time is consumed by drawing digital vector art, sleeping, binge-watching Netflix series, and learning how to cook. An adventurer by heart, she aspires to travel the world with her family, try extreme outdoor activities, and taste all sorts of food in different countries.
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