The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) continues to lead the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing in the country as it announced on Tuesday, March 2, that it has exceeded two million tests nationwide.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Senator Richard Gordon, in a statement, said that PRC remains committed to contribute to the country’s fight against COVID-19.
“The Philippine Red Cross remains committed to saving lives and alleviating human suffering,” Gordon said. “I thank all the researchers, medical technologists, staff, and volunteers who continue to hold our first line of defense against our unseen yet unforgiving enemy,” he added.
Based on the total output of COVID-19 testing laboratories as of March 1, 2021, the total swab tests conducted by PRC is 2,007, 768 since it started on April 14, 2020.
PRC noted that the two million milestone by 13 PRC Molecular Laboratories nationwide “accounts for 24% of the country’s output” and for about “37% of testing” in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Combined with the number of Saliva Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests at 24,303, the grand total of both swab and saliva tests conducted by PRC is now 2, 032, 071.
The PRC started conducting COVID-19 swab tests last April 2020 – processing an average of 9,000 samples per day nationwide. Six months later, the organization hit the one million mark in October 2020. In January 2021, PRC officially rolled out its Saliva RT-PCR testing.
In the first two months of 2021 alone, the PRC has also started rolling out the cheaper, non-invasive, but accurate Saliva RT-PCR tests in their laboratories, and in drive-thru collection sites in malls all over the country.
Despite this, Gordon stressed that this should not be a “cause for celebration but a reminder that we still have to be aggressive” in testing, tracing, and treating the virus.
“We need to detect the virus and keep its spread at bay early on, so we can safely return to work, go back to school, and restart our lives,” Gordon said.
Both swab and saliva RT-PCR tests are available for booking at the PRC official website, https://book.redcross.org.ph/. The PRC Helpline 1158 is also operational 24/7 to address concerns related to COVID-19.