Sat. Sep 18th, 2021

MANILA – Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said the private sector will be leading a study to determine the level of infection rate of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in Metro Manila and Laguna.

During the Laging Handa public briefing Wednesday, Concepcion said the zero-prevalence test is part of the private sector-led Project ARK (antibody rapid test kits) initiative in coordination with National Policy Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Vivencio Dizon, Metro Manila mayors, and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

A prevalence test would determine the number of infected people in a particular population at a given time.

“So every month, we will see if we are improving — if the level of infection is increasing or declining,” Concepcion said.

He said the study will be done for a period of four months.

“The 16 cities of NCR (National Capital Region) plus Laguna will be taking this part of study (so) that we will measure the level of infection using rapid test kits. This is going to be supervised by PSRC (Philippine Survey and Research Center) research firm,” he added.

Once the study becomes successful, Concepcion said they target to expand this by conducting zero prevalence tests in the entire Luzon and can be extended to critical parts of the country with more donors to support this initiative.

He underscored the need to do more testing before Metro Manila’s transition from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ).

However, Concepcion said the current test capacity of the government using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is not enough so the rapid test kit can be used to determine the number of infected individuals.

PCR tests are also more expensive which cost from PHP4,000 to PHP8,000, while rapid test kits only cost around PHP400, he added. (ia/PNA)

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