The Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM) gave all 14 Philippine Red Cross (PRC) molecular laboratories across the country Certificates of Proficiency for 2022.
“Ang Philippine Red Cross ang kauna-unahang nagkaroon ng automated RT-PCR tests sa Pilipinas. Araw-araw, sinisikap ng aming volunteers at staff na laging maging una, laging handa, at laging nandyan para sa ating mga kababayan sa panahon ng emergency at sakuna [The Philippine Red Cross is the first to have automated RT-PCR tests in the Philippines. Everyday our volunteers and staff members are trying to be always first always ready, and always there for our countrymen during emergency and disasters],” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said.
The proficiency tests, given annually by RITM to DOH-accredited molecular laboratories, are part of RITM’s quality assessment post-accreditation for the real-time detection of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
All 14 molecular laboratories of the PRC passed the proficiency tests, which consist of Nucleic Acid Extraction, PCR Master Mix Preparation, Real-Time RT-PCR, RT-PCR results interpretation, and RT-PCR results reporting. All 14 PRC laboratories needed only one take to meet the RITM requirements.
The PRC’s molecular laboratories are located in PRC National Blood Center, Mandaluyong City, PRC Logistics and Multi-purpose Center, Mandaluyong City, Port Area, Manila, Ilagan City, Isabela, Subic, Zambales, Clark, Pampanga, Batangas City, Mandaue City, Cebu, Passi City, Iloilo, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, Cotabato City-Maguindanao area, and Zamboanga City.
The first laboratory started operation in April 2020. Since then, PRC has tested 5,605,651 swab and saliva samples for Covid-19.