Why the mandatory Covid-19 rapid testing for workers is a waste of time and money

There are proposals circulating that the Covid-19 rapid testing be made as a mandatory requirement for return to work clearance of our workers. But while the proposal has good intentions, it somehow misses the real objective of why we are opting for Covid-19 testing in the first place.

There are two kinds of Covid-19 tests currently being done: the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) which is a viral test that examines if one has a current infection, and the rapid anti-body test which could tell if one had a previous infection.

Since the viral test is expensive and may take some time to get the results, the rapid antibody testing is being proposed. Without such test, proponents say, workers may not come back to work. Worse, both the government and the employers, particularly those operating micro, small and medium enterprises, are not willing to shoulder the testing cost. In effect, the clear implication is that the workers should shoulder the cost and that would be around PhP2,000 to PhP3,000 per test.

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