The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has opened its 14th molecular laboratory in Cotabato City to further boost PRC’s testing capacity for Covid-19 on Sunday, September 18, 2021.
The molecular laboratory is equipped with two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines and one ribonucleic acid (RNA) extractor, which can process up to 2,000 tests a day. The laboratory was completed in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and will serve Maguindanao, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, and Davao City.
PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Richard J. Gordon, PRC Secretary General Elizabeth Zavalla, PRC Cotabato Chairwoman Bai Fatima P. Sinsuat, Mayor Frances Cynthia J. Guiani-Sayadi and other executives from the Red Cross and local government unit of Cotabato attended the virtual inauguration of the newly built molecular laboratory.
“I would like to thank the International Committee of the Red Cross for this partnership in defeating Covid-19. Sa ngayon ay 200 test per day lamang ang capacity ng Cotabato Regional and Medical Center at sa pamamagitan ng bagong molecular laboratory this will further hasten our Covid-19 response and can test up to 2,000 tests per day,” Gordon said.
That number of “200” tests per day was refuted, however by CRMC medical center chief, Dr. Ishmael R. Dimaren.
In a letter to BusinessMirror, he said that as one of the licensed subnational Covid-19 testing center facilities, CRMC has a daily capacity of 1,200 for conventional testing and 88 for cartridge-based testing.
He gave assurances that CRMC, classified as a Level 3 Tertiary Teaching Training Hospital, “remains at the forefront in the fight against Covid-19” in the areas it serves, mainly in the BARMM and SOCCKSARGENN.
Gordon also emphasized the importance of regular testing to beat this invisible enemy. PRC recently lowered its RT-PCR testing fees for swab and saliva tests from P3,800 to 2,800 and from P2,000 to P1,500, respectively.
PRC also is ramping up vaccination efforts nationwide to get more people vaccinated as soon as possible through the Bakuna centers and PRC bakuna buses, having inoculated over 217,808 individuals.