A private medical laboratory has announced that it will begin offering Covid-19 testing in Mexico City and other urban areas across the country beginning on Wednesday.
Laboratorio Médico del Chopo expects to carry out as many as 350 tests daily, with 80-100 of those being administered in the home and the rest at El Chopo locations and at a mobile lab, said a spokesperson for parent company Grupo Proa.
Eduardo Arvizu Marín called the test’s 2,100-peso (US $89) price tag “very competitive” compared to what other labs have offered during the coronavirus crisis.
Some private hospitals in Mexico City were charging as much as 10,000 pesos (US $424) for coronavirus tests in March.
El Chopo said it will collaborate with sister company Laboratorio Carpermor to maximize its testing capabilities in México state, Puebla, Querétaro, Tlaxcala, Jalisco and San Luis Potosí, in addition to Mexico City.
The testing process will begin at the Laboratorios El Chopo website, where anyone who believes they have symptoms of Covid-19 can fill out an online form to determine if they are a viable candidate for testing.
The online form will separate possible candidates into three groups, informing patients that they should either see a doctor immediately, go to a hospital due to their symptoms or that they are a viable candidate for the test.
Viable candidates can make an appointment for El Chopo staff to visit their home and conduct the test there.
Arvizu said that the polymerase chain reaction tests are not the fastest screening instruments on the market and that will take 24-48 hours to yield results.
The lab’s strategy in the capital includes a mobile testing unit to which people who suspect they have Covid-19 symptoms can go for testing, but Arvizu noted that the unit will prioritize patients who are clearly showing symptoms.
To be located at Calle Homero 1910 in Polanco, the mobile testing center could be replicated in other cities, but Arvizu said that “for the moment, only [Mexico City] has the mobile unit.”
The federal government has been criticized for its response to the emergency, which experts said in late March has not involved sufficient testing for the disease.
Laboratorio del Chopo has more than 200 locations in more than half of Mexico’s 32 states.