Milestone: PH Red Cross Port Area lab records 1 million COVID-19 tests

Published April 10, 2021, 9:17 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Port Area Laboratory has recorded more than a million coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests performed as of 6 a.m. on Saturday, April 10.

(Photo from PH Red Cross Facebook)

PRC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Senator Richard Gordon, announced this in a Twitter post and congratulated the PRC Bio-Molecular Laboratory located in Port Area, Manila. 

“This is indeed a significant milestone in the fight against COVID-19, that this lab is the single biggest mol[ecular] lab in the country,” Gordon said.

Inaugurated on June 23, 2020, Gordon said the full capacity of the that the PRC Lab in Port Area is 11,000 tests per day. With an average of 6,200 tests per day, he noted that the PRC Lab has the “biggest output of any single” Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratory in the country.

“Congratulations to the efficient and hardworking volunteers and staff of the Red Cross Port Area Lab,” Gordon said. The said lab is headed by its manager Florame Magalong-Sanchez and supervisors Kim Diatol, Dante De Olazo and Lai Bronzal.

In a separate Facebook post, PRC also announced the “significant milestone in the fight against COVID-19” in the country after the Port Area lab recorded over a million tests conducted since it was inaugurated. 

“Most of the samples tested in Port Area are those of incoming OFWs [Overseas Filipino Workers],” the humanitarian organization added.

The PRC Bio-Molecular Laboratory in Port Area, Manila is considered as the “biggest molecular laboratory of the country.”

Aside from processing specimen samples for COVID-19, PRC said that the laboratory is also capable of processing other infectious diseases as well such as tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency viruses or HIV, dengue, malaria, hepatitis, leptospirosis and Zika – among other diseases.

In a statement issued March 5, PRC said that it leads COVID-19 testing in the country – having exceeded two million swab tests nationwide. This milestone, PRC noted, accounts for 24 percent of the country’s testing output and for about 37 percent of testing in Metro Manila.