AS part of concerted efforts to contain COVID-19, BDO Foundation inked an agreement supporting the implementation of the pooled testing program in Cebu City in partnership with Go Negosyo, University of Cebu Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center and the Cebu City local government.
Backed by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, the initiative was recently unveiled in a virtual launch and signing of the memorandum of agreement witnessed by BDO Unibank and BDO Foundation chairperson Teresita Sy-Coson as well as BDO Unibank president and CEO and BDO Foundation trustee Nestor V. Tan.
Also present at the online event were BDO Foundation president Mario Deriquito, BDO Foundation trustee and corporate secretary Lazaro Jerome Guevarra, and BDO Foundation trustees Ma. Corazon Mallillin and Ismael Estela Jr. Considered highly effective by the medical community, pooled testing combines swab samples from five, 10 or 20 individuals and examines them together using a single reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test kit.
The method is expected to boost capacities, expedite tests and significantly reduce the cost of mass testing. This first implementation of pooled testing outside the National Capital Region will initially cover 4,000 market vendors and public utility vehicle drivers. The launch of pooled testing in Cebu City followed the pilot implementation of the methodology in Makati City, an initiative also supported by BDO Foundation.