Amid the rising number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) positive cases, Senator Dick Gordon, chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), welcomed the accreditation of the PRC’s bio-molecular laboratories in Subic and Clark as the additional facilities will boost the PRC’s testing capacity.
Gordon said the two laboratories will be formally opened since they are now ready to operate after passing the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine’s proficiency test recently and accredited as certified COVID-19 testing centers.
The Subic laboratory is located at the PRC Logistics and Training Center inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and the swabbing will be done at the SBF’s Main Gate. The facility can run up to 2,000 tests a day. Meanwhile, the Clark laboratory, located at Clark Freeport Zone, is also capable of running the same number of tests.
“Repatriation flights for overseas Filipino workers can now be directed to the airports in the two cities.”
“This is a very welcome development. We can do a total of 4,000 tests per day in the two new facilities, which will enable us to run an overall total of 16,000 tests a day. And with the hotel capabilities of both Subic and Clark, repatriation flights for overseas Filipino workers can now be directed to the airports in the two cities,” the veteran legislator said.
Three of PRC’s COVID testing centers, two in its national headquarters along EDSA and one in its former headquarters in Port Area, Manila, are already up and running. All equipped with four polymerase reaction chain machines each, the three facilities are capable of running 4,000 tests each per day.
Aside from the facilities in Subic and Clark, the PRC is opening up eight other testing centers in Batangas, Laguna, Mandaue City, Isabela, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga City, Bacolod City, and Surigao. It will also add 10 more PCRs in the Port Area molecular lab, which will enable the PRC to conduct a total of 46,000 tests per day.
“We really have to ramp up testing to ensure victory over COVID.”
“According to the WHO (World Health Organization), we have to test 13 percent of the population so we can determine the disease’s positivity rate. For Metro Manila, alone, that would be 1.7 million and it would take 10 months or 308 days to test 13 percent of its population at 46,000 tests a day. So, we really have to ramp up testing to ensure victory over COVID,” the seasoned lawmaker said.