By Mario Casayuran
Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), today said a bio-molecular laboratory in Cebu City would be opened soon with the help of Security Bank Foundation’s P15-million donation in a bid to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease( COVID-19) in Central Visayas.
Gordon pointed out that with Cebu City located in Central Visayas, building a testing facility in the province would boost the capacity of the region, where almost 2,000 cases have been recorded as of May 12.
“We thank the Security Bank Foundation for making this generous donation. The need for testing cannot be over-emphasized in order to unmask the virus and prevent or control its spread. We are grateful that Security Bank Foundation partnered with us in this endeavor which would save the lives of our countrymen in the Central Visayas. Security Bank has always been one of the generous donors of the Red Cross,” he said.
The board of trustees of the Security Bank Foundation recently approved a P15-million donation to the PRC to set up a bio-molecular laboratory at its chapter located along Osmeña Boulevard, Cebu City. Security Bank has been a long-time regular donor of the Red Cross.
Gordon said the PRC already opened two testing centers that are both equipped with real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) test 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.
The PRC, which has the distinction of being the only Red Cross national society with a bio-molecular laboratory system, is planning on opening at least 14 bio-molecular laboratories throughout the entire country to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases that may emerge or re-emerge in the future.