PH Red Cross to hit 3 million COVID-19 tests this week

Published May 17, 2021, 1:34 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is expected to hit three million coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing this week according to its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Senator Richard J. Gordon.

Philippine Red Cross / MANILA BULLETIN

Gordon, during an ANC interview on Monday, May 17, said that the PRC continues to increase its testing capacity. “Testing should be enhanced, I’m happy to note that Red Cross is the highest in testing, we’re a private international humanitarian organization and we are about to hit 3 million tests this week – so that’s fantastic,” he said.

PRC has been at the forefront of our country’s efforts to curb the pandemic, having conducted over 2.8 million coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests in 13 molecular laboratories nationwide – contributing 25 percent of the total testing output in the country by the end of 2020.

In April 2020, PRC inaugurated its first molecular testing laboratory in the country. Aside from Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) swab testing, the PRC also introduced and developed saliva RT-PCR testing with the help of scientists from the University of Illinois and University of the Philippines.

The saliva RT-PCR testing, Gordon said, is a less invasive, more economical, but still an effective alternative to pharyngeal swabbing.