DILG wants uniform price for COVID-19 swab tests in public, private labs
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is calling for the standardization of prices for the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to allow more people to avail of it.
“Mas marami ang mabibigyan ng pagkakataong magpa-swab test kung pare-pareho ang presyo nito sa mga pribado at gobyernong ospital (Everyone should be given the chance to have a swab test by standardizing its price both in private and government hospitals),” Interior chief Eduardo Año said in a statement on Friday.
“Iyan ang isang mabisang paraan para mapigil ang pagkalat ng COVID-19 virus (That’s one of the best options to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus),” he added.
In a previous report, the Department of Health (DOH) said the price of RT-PCR tests, tagged as the gold standard for COVID-19 testing, ranges from P1,500 to P19,000 in public and private molecular laboratories.
Año said this price range is “way above the purchasing power of ordinary Filipinos.”
The DILG Secretary also noted that instead of taking the swab test, most Filipinos would instead spend their money to “buy food and other necessities and follow the minimum health protocols to prevent contamination.”
As of Thursday, DOH reported 314,079 total cases of the coronavirus disease nationwide. This includes 254,223 recoveries and 5,562 deaths.
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