PH Red Cross single day COVID-19 tests hit over 17,000

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) said Sunday, Sept. 19 that its molecular laboratories across the country conducted a total of 17,361 coronavirus tests last Sept. 17.

Philippine Red Cross

According to the PRC, the figure is one of humanitarian organization’s highest testing output since the pandemic began, noting that its COVID-19 tests tally hit a record of more than 18,000 last April of this year.

PRC Chairman and CEO Senator Richard Gordon underscored the importance of conducting regular testing for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Gordon said the government sought the help of the PRC last year to establish molecular laboratories because the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) was not yet capable of conducting multiple testing during the early days of the pandemic.

“Ngayon, 14 na ang molecular laboratories ng Red Cross sa buong Pilipinas (Right now, the Red Cross has 14 molecular laboratories across the Philippines),” he said in a statement.

“Hindi lang sa COVID itong mga laboratories na ito, pwede rin silang gamitin pang test sa iba pang sakit o outbreak na maari nating harapin (Not only these laboratories are for COVID, they can also be used to test for other diseases or outbreaks that we may face),” he added.

The PRC opened its 14th molecular lab in Cotabato City on Sept 18, which aims to further boost its testing capacity and establish a testing facility in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The organization’s molecular labs constitute about 25 percent of the testing output in the country, it said.