NGCP donates RP-PCR machines to ramp up testing in gov’t hospitals

Published August 10, 2020, 4:44 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Given the escalating cases of coronavirus infections in the country, transmission firm National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has donated six (6) sets of real time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines so these could ramp up Covid-19 testing efforts in government-run hospitals.

Beneficiaries of the RT-PCR machines include the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP); which were given two sets each of the testing equipment.
The other recipients were the V. Luna General Hospital and the Philippine National Police-Crime Laboratory that had been bestowed with one RT-PCR machine each.

NGCP said the COVID-19 test equipment had been part of the P1.0 billion donation that it pledged to the government since March this year.

A complete set given to the beneficiaries comprised of: ABI 7500 FAST RT-PCR machine, a desktop computer and UPS. Each machine costs P2.4 million.

As explained, COVID-19 testing done through RT-PCR machine is considered by the Department of Health (DOH) as the gold standard, because this detects the presence of the virus in a person’s body with highest degree of accuracy – even if the person infected is asymptomatic or has not been signifying

symptoms of the illness.

NGCP said it is cognizant of the fact that “the availability of vital medical equipment plays a huge factor in the government’s COVID-19 response efforts – particularly in large government hospitals.”

With the donations to the four key hospitals and institutions, the company is hoping that this “will expedite the confirmatory process for Covid-19 testing,” as it further indicated that it will continually “support the country’s efforts to combat this pandemic.”

The country’s battle with COVID-19 has already been dragging for the past six months; and the initial slow pace approach on testing had been partly blamed on the surge in cases.

In recent months, the government stated that it already stepped up on the country’s Covid-19 testing capacity; hence, that also warranted the swell in cases observed from June to August this year.

For NGCP, aside from the RT-PCR machine endowments to state-run hospitals, it also previously helped more than 1,000 local government units with grocery items and medical equipment, including mechanical ventilators, ultrasound machine, portable x-ray machine and personal protective equipment (PPEs) to more than 300 hospitals and various rural health units nationwide.

It also turned over five (5) new ambulances to the UP-Philippine General Hospital, Philippine Orthopedic Center, Quirino Memorial Medical Center, Philippine Heart Center and Biñan Doctors Hospital.

The company similarly donated 10,000 rapid test kits and 50 testing booths to the local government of Quezon City; and another 500 test kits for Navotas City.