Concepcion: Project ARK Mass Rapid Testing to Hit 1-Million Kits
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion announced that Project ARK (Antibody Rapid test Kits) has now generated close to 1,000,000 test kits. The Antibody Rapid test Kits were procured with the support of over 100 companies. These kits will be used by the private sector and businesses to screen their employees before allowing them to safely return to work.
“We believe that the key to reopening our economy is to test, test, test. Why are we doing this massive screening? Currently, the PCR testing capacity is around 18,000 per day, and it provides us the safeguards in partially re-opening our economy after the lockdown. But with Massive Rapid Testing and by increasing RT-PCR testing to about 30,000 tests per day, more people can be screened, more companies and industries can be deemed safe to reopen, and more data can be gathered to help determine better, safer, and more sustainable approaches to reviving the economy,” Concepcion said.
Mass screening is part of the comprehensive strategy to reopen the economy after the lockdown, and reinstate public confidence. “We are getting more and more business owners to support the initiative. So far, we have a total of 805,868 Rapid Testing Kits from the private sector, and expect to close one million by the end of this week,” Concepcion added.
Since this massive rapid testing will be done in tandem with the Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing of the government, Project ARK will also help to increase capacity of 7 hospitals to implement RT-PCR testing. This, in turn, will boost 7,000 additional PCR testing capacity per day.
“I have been consulting and asking for more support from religious groups, LGUs, and different chambers to support the initiative of Project ARK,” Concepcion shared. The one million testing kits from the private sector are expected to arrive mid-May. This is on top of the two million kits that President Duterte earlier approved to procure immediately for public use.
“Mass testing is a form of prevention. Most of the mitigation models that were presented to the business sector showed that mass testing is key to restarting the economy. These models were used by other countries such as South Korea and states like New York to successfully curb the spread of the disease. We just can’t allow things to fall apart now. The path to reopening the economy sooner is to conduct massive testing using both rapid antibody and RT-PCR-based testing, which we endorse in Project ARK,” he stated.