Makati, Taguig, Las Piñas have fewer infections based on Project ARK rapid test – Concepcion

Published July 7, 2020, 4:44 PM

by Jel Santos

Project ARK, an initiative of Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion, has screened a total of 4,150 persons in a rollout across Las Piñas, Makati, Muntinlupa, and Taguig as part of a broad-based effort to offer community level visibility of COVID-19 infection rates.

(Screencap from press briefing via Jel Santos / MANILA BULLETIN)

This was announced during a virtual presser with City Mayors Abigail Binay of Makati, Imelda Agular of Las Piñas, and Taguig Epidemiologist Luis Sy Jr.

“We have no choice but to try to manage the infection from getting worse and try our best in opening the economy as much as possible. Testing is the only way. Testing, tracing and isolating are key,” said Concepcion.

“We want to see moving forward that by the third quarter and fourth quarter, recovery starts to stabilize. That will only happen if we are able to contain the level of infection. If we are not able to contain the health situation, then the economy will suffer. We have to be vigilant. It is not just the lives of people we need to save but also the people’s jobs and livelihoods of MSMEs,” said Concepcion.

In Makati, a total of 1,208 persons were tested. Of this number, one tested asymptomatic IgM positive, seven were asymptomatic igG positive which means they had the virus but were able to recover and build antibodies, three were asymptomatic IgG/IgM while 1,171 were asymptomatic negative.

In Taguig, a total of 1,462 persons were tested. Of this number, four tested asymptomatic IgM positive, 43 were asymptomatic igG positive which means they had the virus but were able to recover and build antibodies, seven were asymptomatic IgG/IgM while 1,408 were asymptomatic negative.

In Las Piñas, a total of 1,480 individuals were tested. Based on the partial result, three tested asymptomatic IgM positive, two were asymptomatic igG positive which means they had the virus but were able to recover and build antibodies, three were asymptomatic IgG/IgM while 1,343 were asymptomatic negative and nine were symptomatic negative.

Generally, the results in the three cities show that there are fewer infections and the number of cases in these areas has been contained. Makati, only listed one positive, Taguig also with one COVID positive individual, and Las Piñas with three positive.

The individuals presumed positive via rapid tests were immediately directed to appropriate hospital facilities for a complimentary RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) swab testing.

Concepcion said by using rapid tests in tandem with the RT-PCR test, “we can gain greater visibility and will help us formulate strategies to combat the virus.”

“Ang Las Piñas ay taus-pusong nagpapasalamat sa Project ARK sa pagbibigay ng test kits para sa expanding targeted testing para sa mga mamayan ng Las Piñas. Napakalaking tulong ng mga testing kits na ito, dahil madali na naming matukoy ang mga nagpapositive sa virus (We would like to thank PROJECT ARK for giving Las Piñas test kits for the expanded targeted testing of our residents. This test kits are a big help as we would be able to identify easily those who have the virus),” Mayor Aguilar said.

For her part, Mayor Binay said, “The City of Makati would like to thank Project ARK for identifying Makati as one of its test areas. We look forward to another phase of this collaboration, which is the pooled testing [research],” Mayor Binay said, “We are the essential business district, we have to keep the economy alive in the city so we would like to thank Project ARK (Antibody Rapid Test Kit ) as well as the donors that helped Project ARK… We as a nation should all work together to adapt to the new normal.”

Present during the virtual presser were ARK Project Lead Josephine Romero, Barangay Pilot Lead Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar, Las Pinas Focal Dr. Eleazar Natividad, Makati Focal Dr. Bernard Sese, and rapid test kit donors Auto Nation Group represented by its President Felix R. Ang, PLDT Enterprise represented by the Head of Corporate Relationship Management Joy R. Hilao, Wilcon Depot’s SEVP Chief Operating Officer Rosemarie Bosch-Ong, and Lalamove Managing Director Dannah Majarocon.

Since its launch, Project ARK has generated more than 1.3 million rapid test kits from over 350 partner companies and has actively collaborated to connect partners in the private sector to LGUs to strengthen testing capacity at the local level.

Moreover, through the help of ARK-PCR Private Sector Chief Implementer Janette Garin, Project ARK has activated and automated a total of 11 hospitals, supplementing an additional 12,000 daily testing capacity.