Through a virtual launch and signing of the memorandum of agreement, BDO Foundation recently partnered with Go Negosyo, the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and the local government of Mandaluyong for the implementation of pooled RT-PCR testing in the city.
ARK PCR Chief Private Implementor Rep. Janette Garin, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion, Mandaluyong City mayor Menchie Abalos, Tessie Sy-Coson,
chairwoman of BDO Unibank, BDO Foundation trustee Nestor V. Tan and Philippine Children’s Medical Center’s Dr. Julius Lecciones, were present during the virtual launch and MoA signing.
The mass testing initiative is a part of concerted efforts to contain COVID-19 touted by medical experts as highly effective, cost efficient and scientifically sound. Considered a game changer, pooled testing combines swab samples from individuals and examines them together using a single reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR test kit. Pools of five, 10 or 20 persons are tested depending on the prevalence of COVID-19 in an area. The method is expected to boost capacities, expedite tests and significantly reduce costs.
The event also highlighted messages of support from the BDO Foundation leadership.
The initiative was piloted in Makati City and was also launched in Cebu City for the testing of an estimated 8,000 public market vendors and PUV drivers. Testing in Makati has been completed, and a report is being prepared. Training in Cebu has begun, and actual pooled testing will be performed soon.