The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) continues to lead the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing in the country after exceeding over two million tests nationwide.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Senator Richard Gordon, during a virtual press briefing on April 14, said that PRC remains committed to contribute to the country’s fight against COVID-19 by continued testing – along with other services.
Based on the total output of COVID-19 testing laboratories in the Philippines as of April 14, 2021, PRC noted that it has conducted a total of 2,535, 583 tests – both Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) swab and saliva tests.
PRC started conducting COVID-19 tests on April 14, 2020. After a year, it was able to conduct swab tests 2,397,993 – which accounts for 24 percent of the country’s output – and 137, 590 saliva tests.
“We remain committed to saving lives and alleviating human suffering,” Gordon said – as he thanked all the researchers, medical technologists, staff, and volunteers who “continue to hold our first line of defense against our unseen yet unforgiving enemy” which is COVID-19.
There are 13 PRC Molecular Laboratories nationwide. Gordon also cited the efforts of the PRC Molecular Laboratory in Port Area, Manila – which is considered as the “biggest molecular laboratory of the country” – for conducting over one million tests since April 2020.
Gordon noted that PRC started conducting COVID-19 swab tests in April last year – processing an average of 9,000 samples per day nationwide and in October, it reached the one million mark.
In January 2021, PRC officially rolled out its Saliva RT-PCR testing – which is a first in the country.
Gordon noted that 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.
With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, Gordon reminded the public to “take care of yourselves, practice health protocols” so they can keep themselves and their families safe from the deadly virus.
Gordon noted that the PRC Helpline 1158 is also operational 24/7 to address concerns related to COVID-19. Both swab and saliva RT-PCR tests are available for booking at the PRC official website, https://book.redcross.org.ph/.