Major companies, business groups to conduct 1M COVID-19 tests by May

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Around 200 companies are preparing to conduct one million coronavirus disease (Covid-19) tests among their employees by May.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said the companies have agreed to participate in Project ARK (anti-body rapid test kit), a private-sector initiative to help jumpstart the economy after over two months of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

200 companies to conduct 1M Covid-19 tests by May

The only way to flatten the curve or slow down the rate of Covid-19 infection is to conduct more targeted mass testing.

He said the only way to flatten the curve or slow down the rate of Covid-19 infection is to conduct more targeted mass testing.

“We’re bringing about 1 million rapid test kits by May – malaki iyan (that’s huge),” Concepcion said in a virtual presser on Monday.

Concepcion said Project ARK also aims to help about six to seven provincial hospitals expand their testing capacity.


Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said the companies have agreed to participate in Project ARK (anti-body rapid test kit), a private-sector initiative to help jumpstart the economy after over two months of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
He said the only way to flatten the curve or slow down the rate of Covid-19 infection is to conduct more targeted mass testing.

He, however, emphasized that those who will be found positive for Covid-19 under the rapid anti-body testing will also have to undergo real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.

“Our whole objective is to really focus on test, test and test; and that will give us more visibility, then the Cabinet and the government will be allowed to open up more of the economy,” he said.

Concepcion emphasized the need to prioritize the reopening of the economy to ensure Filipinos can resume their source of livelihood.

“Iyon ang kailangan natin, iyong kabuhayan. Kasi kung walang kabuhayan, wala rin, marami rin ang mamatay dahil sa hunger, dahil sa walang medisina (That’s what we need, livelihood. Without livelihood, there’s nothing, many would die because of hunger, because there’s no medicine),” he said.

Under the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF) revised guidelines on expanded testing for Covid-19, the RT-PCR test approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and validated by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) is the confirmatory test for Covid-19.

Rapid antibody-based test kits must be used in conjunction with RT-PCR.

As of Monday, health authorities reported a total of 7,777 confirmed cases of Covid-19, 511 deaths, and 932 recoveries.

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