By Mario Casayuran
Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) today expressed elation that the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing centers of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) are picking up speed as more samples are brought in this week.
Gordon reported that starting last Monday, the test centers have been working harder than during the last two weeks because more samples are being turned in.
“I am elated that our testing centers are picking up speed as more samples come in; though our machines are still not maximized. The Philippine Coast Guard and some local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila have started sending more samples and I commend them,’’ he said.
‘’Testing is the key, that’s why I call on the LGUs to test more people because the more people are tested, the faster the enemy will be unmasked,” he stressed.
Gordon said the PRC already opened two testing centers that are both equipped with polymerase chain reaction machines that can run up to a total of 8,000 tests a day.
The PRC’s testing capacity would expand to 20,000, with the opening of another testing center in Port Area, Manila this week and four others in Subic, Clark, Batangas and Los Banos in the next few weeks.
Records showed that a total of 12,622 unique individuals have been tested by the PRC from April 16 to May 4.
From a high of a more than 700 last week due to the small number of samples to be tested, this week showed a dramatic increase in the output of the facilities. On May 4, a total of 990 tests were conducted; 1,980 on May 5; and 2,136 as of 7 pm of May 6.
“Kung maraming magpapa-test, mahihiwalay ‘yung mga positive at malalagay sila sa mga mga ospital o sa mga quarantine centers. Bibigyan ng pagkain ‘yung pamilya nila habang sila’y naka-quarantine at i-momonitor ang status ng kanilang kalusugan. Di na kakalat ‘yan masyado pag nagawa natin yan. Our aim is to ensure victory over the virus,” Gordon stressed. (If there are many tests to be conducted, those found positive would be brought to the hospitals or quarantine centers. Their families would be given food while they are under quarantine and the status of their health is being monitored. The spread of COVID-19 would be contained.)