Malacanang announces cheaper COVID-19 swab tests in 15 sites nationwide

(File photo of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (Screengrab of PCOO /RTVM video/Courtesy PCOO)


(Eagle News) — Malacanang annonced that cheaper swab testing can now be availed of in 15 automated PCR testing centers in select hospitals nationwide.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the cheaper swab tests would costs from P1,700 to P2,000 as the machines for COVID-19 PCR tests in these facilities have been donated.

The following PCR Testing Centers in Metro Manila include Philippine Children Medical Center, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital, Perpetual Help Medical Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and Lung Center of the Philippines.

In Cebu, residents can go to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, University of Cebu Medical Center, and the Cebu Molecular Laboratory.

Completing the 15 PCR testing centers are Baguio General Hospital, Zamboanga City Medical Center, Teresita Jalandoni Provincial General Hospital in Negros Occidental, Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo, and the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center and St. Paul’s Hospital, both in Tacloban, Leyte.

In a release, the Palace said that these hospitals are “now equipped to perform both individual and pooled testing at a reduced cost, and are capable of producing and releasing test results within 48 hours.”

-Pooled testing to further reduce swab test costs-

“With pooled testing, cost of swab test can be reduced to P550-P1,000 depending on the prevalence,” Malacanang said.

Roque also explained that President Duterte’s decision to extend the state of calamity until September 12, 2021 will give the national government and local governments time to marshall their resources to beat the pandemic.

He also pointed out the actions that the government has already done so far to address the COVID-19 problems. These include the country’s high COVID-19 testing rate, the use of the Magalong formula in intensified contact tracing, the number of isolation centers that are now available, and the One Hospital Command for effective hospital referrals, among others.

Wala daw po tayong ginagawa. Well, sila lang ata ang hindi nakakaalam kung ano ang ginagawa ng gobyerno. Buksan po ang mga mata at buksan po ang mga pandinig,” Roque said commenting on various criticisms hurled against the government’s COVID-19 response, including those coming from Vice-President Leni Robredo.

Roque, who is the concurrent IATF spokesperson, said that the government is also currently implementing now the Phase 2 of the National Action Plan against COVID-19 where the economy is gradually being reopened, localized and granular lockdowns are being implemented, and testing, tracing, isolation, and treatment are continuously being strengthened.

(with a Malacanang release)