DOH approved Concepcion’s COVID-19 Pooled Swab Testing
The Department of Health (DOH) officially approved Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion’s COVID-19 pooled swab testing.
In a report on Manila Bulletin, Concepcion thanked the Department of Health for signing the Interim Guidelines on the Conduct of COVID-19 Pooled Testing in the Philippines.
“Now, the most important thing is that testing will be faster, and the capacity will increase. Pool testing is efficient as it would bring the cost to around 750 pesos in the pool of 5, versus 750 for only one individual,” Concepcion noted.
On the ground, various LGUs had already benefited from pooled testing since September 2020 — including the cities of Pasig, Makati, Quezon, Pasay, and Passi City in Southern Iloilo.
These LGUs could testify to the cost-effectiveness of COVID-19 pooled swab testing which had already tested 15,012 individuals as of December 2020.
COVID-19 Pooled Swab testing was carefully studied by the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC), the Philippine Society of Pathologist Incorporated (PSPI), and the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM).
As per the report, private sector partners — through Go Negosyo — supported and funded the said research.
According to the Department of Health, pooled swab testing could reduce the cost of screening a large number of individuals for infectious diseases.
Strategic COVID-19 testing along with aggressive contact tracing and isolation was recognized as crucial to an effective COVID-19 response.
Incorporating specimen pooling strategies was an opportunity for greater efficiency by way of accelerating COVID-19 testing.
Furthermore, it allowed the opportunity for testing and targeting even asymptomatic individuals and also checking and monitoring areas in the Philippines with low or decreasing COVID-19 prevalence as well.
Meanwhile, the research on the COVID-19 Saliva-Based Testing and COVID-19 Pooled Saliva-Based Testing was still in the works.