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COVID-19 testing in Boquete

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Alfa Clinic in downtown Boquete now has the immunological COVID-19 tests available.
The immunological tests are different from the acute tests done by MINSA. MINSA's PCR tests detect viral RNA in a nasal or throat swab. They tell you whether the virus is present at the moment the swab is taken. They turn negative when the virus is gone.
     The immunological tests measure antibodies to the virus. They don't turn positive until your body mounts an immune reaction to the virus. Sometimes it takes up to three weeks after symptoms start before the body makes enough antibodies to be accurately detected. So this is not a test to see if you HAVE the virus; it is a test to see if you HAD the virus.
     We have had only 17 known cases of COVID-19 in Boquete. That includes only cases that were symptomatic, suspect, and tested by MINSA. We have no idea how many asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases there were. So if you think that maybe that rash, mild cough, feeling blah, fatigue, etc. that you had last month was really a mild case of COVID-19 then this is one way to find out.
     Why would you want to know? 1) If the test is negative then you know you still have to take precautions if you're concerned about contracting COVID-19. 2) If it's positive then you know that a) you're not infectious, since you've already recovered from it, and b) you're not vulnerable since you have acquired immunity; so you can dispense with social distancing, masks, gloves, etc. since you can't give it to anybody and they can't give it to you. EXCEPT for the possible case where you touch something that has the virus on it and someone who is vulnerable touches you, e.g. shakes your hand, in which case you might be the intermediate vector. But of course if vulnerable people maintain precautions then this is not a problem.
     The first generation of immunological tests were unreliable and had many false negatives. The current generation is about 99% accurate. These particular tests offered by the Alfa Clinic have been vetted by the Gorgas Institute in Panama City, so I think we can be reasonably sure that they are accurate.
     If you are interested in the test it costs $45 and Alfa Clinic says:

We are making a list of people who are interested in taking the test. If you are interested please send us the following information:
Full name, age, identification number (E-cedula or passport), telephone, mail and place of residence. 

For further information contact WhatsApp 6949-5998 or send us a email to boquetemedical@gmail.com

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