Ramon Ang donates coronavirus kits as PH struggles with testing

Ralf Rivas
Ramon Ang donates coronavirus kits as PH struggles with testing
San Miguel Corporation says the donation doubles the government's testing capacity to 11,000 per day

MANILA, Philippines – Billionaire Ramon Ang donated COVID-19 testing machines and additional test kits, as the Philippine government struggles to ramp up testing.

Ang turned over 5 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) coronavirus testing machines and high-throughput automated RNA extraction systems on Wednesday, April 29, to the Department of Health (DOH) and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

“We are one with the government in wanting to curb the spread of the virus, and with enough capacity to test a greater number of people, we are optimistic we will be able to gradually and safely restart the economy,” Ang said.

San Miguel said the donation doubles the government’s testing capacity to 11,000.

The DOH earlier admitted that the government is likely to miss its target of 8,000 coronavirus tests per day by the end of April.

“Mukhang hindi po aabot dito sa 8,000 [tests] for April 30, though sinusubukan ho natin dahil ngayon po dumating na ‘yung cartridges natin for GeneXpert,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Wednesday.

(It looks like we can’t reach 8,000 [tests] for April 30, though we’re trying our best because our cartridges already arrived for GeneXpert.)

Vergeire said that as of Tuesday, April 28, the Philippines’ testing capacity for the virus averaged at around 4,900 per day.

San Miguel has donated over P1 billion worth of food products, ethyl alcohol, fuel, protective gear, and other items in response to the coronavirus crisis. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.