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Ping: Public disclosure by COVID patients a ‘heroic’ move

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For Filipinos who tested COVID-positive, publicly disclosing their identities is not just selfless but also heroic, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Monday.

In a post on his Twitter account, Lacson cited the case of Joel Junsay, a nutrition coordinator of the Baguio City Health Center who posted about his condition on Facebook.

“He volunteered to reveal his identity and urged people who met him to go on self-quarantine. Aside from receiving messages of sympathy, some called his move heroic,” Lacson said in a post on his Twitter account

Last weekend, Lacson appealed to Filipinos who tested positive for COVID-19 to disclose their status, so those they interacted with can take needed measures so the infection does not spread further.

He said voluntary disclosure is a “selfless act of responsibility to society and do our part in hastening to flatten the curve by thwarting the spread of the virus even in our own little way.”

Junsay, 52, in a Facebook post last Saturday, tested positive for COVID. He was the first patient identified using the Artificial Intelligence COVID-19 Scan Analyzer at the Baguio General Hospital (BGH).

The technology, which was piloted at BGH, initially diagnosed him as positive for the virus. It was confirmed by the testing of BGH, one of the subnational laboratories in the Philippines that can test novel coronavirus samples.

But Junsay is also the first COVID patient in Baguio to divulge his identity, prodded by the city’s move to hasten contact tracing.

“We need to apply out-of-the-box solutions to fast-track contact tracing. The key to this is transparency. If a person found to be COVID-19 positive issues a written undertaking that he is willing to have his name disclosed to the public in order to alert the community, then we can broadcast,” Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong said.

Magalong said Junsay was among those tested by the Huawei Artifical Intelligence CT scan analyzer pioneered in Baguio City. The AI findings led to needed medical intervention.

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