Red Cross eyes COVID-19 tests for 20,000 OFWs

Published May 1, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jel Santos 

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) said that it is eyeing to test around 20, 000 returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for COVID-19.

PRC said it is expecting to test 2, 000 OFWs every month.

On Thursday night, around 120 seafarers who have just returned to the country underwent swab testing for COVID-19 at the newly inaugurated molecular laboratory of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) inside the PRC Logistics Center in Mandaluyong City .

On April 29, 120 returning seafarers arrived in the country. They were accompanied by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

“Our aim is to really get our people tested so that we can immediately isolate those who are affected and prevent the non-carriers from acquiring the virus. We want to make sure that our OFWs are safe before they go home to their families,” Richard Gordon, PRC chairman, said.

According to the Red Cross, it is eyeing to set up 20 more testing facilities for COVID -19 throughout the country so that more people can get tested.

The PRC and PCG will also start testing returning OFWs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminals I and II, and at Eva Macapagal Terminal.

On April 30, Gordon met with Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President Vince Dizon and the PCG Task Force Laban Coronavirus medical team headed by Captain Eric Steven Guieb to discuss the measures and proper protocol to be followed during the rapid testing at the airports.

The swabbing will be conducted by nurses and medical technologists of the armed forces under the supervision of PRC staff to ensure that the correct procedures are followed.

“Red Cross saved our fight against COVID because of the testing capacity. Umaabot ng isang libo mahigit ang dumarating na OFWs everyday. We want to test them and we want to work with Chairman Gordon para mabilis iyong resulta kase kapag na-test natin sila at nalaman natin na negative, puwede na natin silang ipa-home quarantine,” Dizon said.