COVID-19 testing now cheaper for Makati residents, businesses
MANILA, Philippines — Testing for coronavirus through getting swab samples — considered as the gold standard of COVID-19 tests — will now be cheaper for Makati residents and business establishments, the city government said on Thursday.
Makati Mayor Abby Binay said that the RT-PCR tests (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) would now be priced at P2,950, instead of the usual pricing that goes between P4,500 to over P8,000 at some private clinics and hospitals in Metro Manila.
According to Binay, the city has partnered with public hospitals and private testing laboratories to allow more residents to avail of quick testing for COVID-19.
“I have always believed in mass testing as a way to prevent further transmission of the coronavirus. From the very start, Makati has looked for ways to bring COVID-19 tests to our employees and residents, especially the most vulnerable sectors of society,” Binay said in a statement.
Compared to other coronavirus testing procedures like antibody rapid testing methods and antigen tests, RT-PCR testing is the most accurate testing method available right now.
Most of the country’s testing is now verified through RT-PCR testing after suspected patient tests positive in the rapid test.
For companies situated in Makati, pooled testing of up at least 10 individuals would cost P1,000 per person swabbed — making testing a viable option for companies who would want to strike a balance between remaining operational despite the pandemic, maintaining safety standards, and minimizing costs.
The local government unit (LGU) said that interested residents and companies could book their RT-PCR tests privately by logging on to www.safemakati.com.
“On the other hand, companies and businesses with large workforces can continue securing the health and safety of their employees by signing up for pooled swab tests. This can be done regularly, especially now that the majority of companies have asked their staff to resume working on-site,” she said.
“Now that we have more experience in mass testing, I am encouraging companies, businesses, establishments, and private individuals to take advantage of our offer. Just go online and book for a test, even if you don’t feel any symptoms or have not come in contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19,” Binay added.
Makati has been one of the first cities to implement mass testing to minimize or avoid coronavirus transmissions, along with Valenzuela, Marikina, Manila, and Taguig.
As of now, the city prides itself on being able to collect swab samples from 6,000 public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and market vendors just between September 2 and 8, as part of the pooled testing program.
Overall, Makati has 8,728 confirmed COVID-19 patients, but only 265 of these are considered active cases as 8,145 individuals have recovered already, while 318 have died from the disease. [ac]
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