Baguio establishments encouraged to use pooled testing for COVID control

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The city government encouraged anew business and other establishments to use the pooled method in the conduct of regular testing of their employees as a means of preventing the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

City Budget Officer Leticia Clemente said that with the pooled method, companies can save on cost of Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) as compared to using individual tests.

She said more people can be tested using only one test kit which means that the cost of the kits can be shared by a small group of people.

One RT-PCR test kit costs around P4,000 but with pooled testing, individuals can go about the test with only P1,000 each.

Sample specimens for the pooled testing are also processed at the molecular laboratory of the Baguio General Hospital with test results made available within 24-48 hours.

According to City Health Services Office Medical Technologist III Lorelyn Ludmelia Aspiras, the method is done by combining “respiratory samples from several people and conducting one laboratory test on the combined pool of samples.”

If the pooled test result is negative, then the laboratory will presume that all the samples are negative.  However, if the pooled test result is positive, each of the samples in the pool will need to be tested individually to determine which samples are positive for the virus.

Those interested to avail may get in touch with the City Health Services Office at tel. no.  665-2757 or the City Permits and Licensing Division at tel. no. 619-3184. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

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