Local government units (LGUs) under the Southern Iloilo Health Zone (SIHZ) and City of Passi, all in Iloilo province, will be adopting the pooled polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.
In his message during the virtual launching on Thursday, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said what his group has been doing is “making testing affordable, accessible. Increasing the capacity and speed of testing is important”.
“The more testing that we do, the greater the information that we have as (to) where the problems are. And this is why we are helping Iloilo as well in the initial trials. This is still part of the research on the pooled PCR testing,” Concepcion said.
Former health secretary and now Iloilo First District Rep. Janette Garin said “in southern Iloilo, even if the virus keeps on attacking, we always move one step, few steps, many steps ahead of them because people are all working together”.
As part of the pilot project funded by the Go Negosyo, the partner LGUs will be working with the Western Visayas Medical Center sub-national laboratory.
Garin said as their initial plan, the pooled PCR test will be done on public market vendors, teachers, social workers, men in uniform, drivers, and asymptomatic vulnerable.
LGUs will provide swabbing centers and will also facilitate the immediate isolation of confirmed Covid-19 positive.
Asymptomatic confirmed cases will be provided with PHP5,000 assistance by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will support isolation and quarantine centers through its Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa Ating Disadvantaged and Displaced (TUPAD) program.
Garin added Go Negosyo has expanded the pooled testing to cover 1,500 pregnant women in Panay.
“We capture them, they are usually asymptomatic but we would try to prevent impact on their babies and the vulnerable within their home,” Garin said.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in his message said the pooled PCR testing initiative of the Go Negosyo “is a game changer in the fight against Covid”.
“Testing is the only means by which we can determine where the enemy is and that is why, the government is intensifying and trying to expand our daily testing capacity,” he said.
He added it is a game changer because it can multiply the actual testing capacity and will also make testing a lot cheaper. (PNA)