The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) now has a total testing capacity of 32,000 tests a day with the opening of its molecular laboratory in Batangas City, which has recently been certified as an accredited coronavirus disease 2019, or Covid-19, testing center by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
Sen. Richard J. Gordon, PRC chairman and chief executive officer, said the facility, equipped with four RT-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines that can run a combined total of 4,000 tests a day, has the biggest testing capability in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region and can cover other nearby provinces.
“We are glad to have this laboratory up and running because more people should get tested. Testing is the key to get our economy going again and this is more so, here in Batagas and in the whole region, with its different economic zones, techno-parks, industrial zones and others,” he said.
Gordon explained that through testing, carriers of the virus can be separated from those who are not and, thus, stop further transmission. Equally important, he added, is that testing will also enable people to get back to their jobs.
“Kapag na-test na ang mga tao, makakapagbukas na ulit ang mga pabrika at iba pa dito, dahil makakapasok na ang mga empleyado nila. Kaya natutuwa ako dahil pwede nang magsimula ng operations dito sa Batangas kasi marami tayong mga pabrika dito, pati sa Laguna na malapit lang din dito at iba pang lugar,” he said.
“Ang tao, walang pambili dahil walang trabaho kaya binigyan ng pera ng gobyerno. Pero hindi pwedeng habambuhay bibigyan ng gobyerno ng pera. Kaya dapat makapagtrabaho na ulit. Ang sinasabi ko, para makapagtrabaho na, dapat kayo ay magpa-test,” the senator also stressed.
Aside from the Batangas facility, the PRC also opened molecular laboratories in its former national headquarters in Port Area, Manila, which can run 14,000 tests; Subic and Clark, 6,000 tests and two in its headquarters in Mandaluyong, which can finish 8,000 tests a day.