Razon's ICTSI, Solaire start coronavirus mass testing for employees

MANILA, Philippines – Enrique Razon Jr's International Container Terminal Services, Incorporated (ICTSI) and Bloomberry Resorts Corporation's (BRC) Solaire Resort & Casino started mass testing of their employees for the coronavirus.

Employees will first undergo rapid testing through point-of-care test kits, a diagnostic tool that measures antibodies from a blood sample in 10 to 15 minutes. 

They will also be subjected to a second round of testing using traditional kits, processed through a real-time polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR machine. This test is deemed more accurate as it can detect the presence of the actual virus.

All employees, including those who are working from home, will be subjected to the tests. (READ: [ANALYSIS] 3 ideas on mass testing: Where, how, and why?)

The companies teamed up with Tropical Disease Foundation (TDF) and Ayala Healthcare Holdings (AC Health) to screen employees for COVID-19.

"Our employees are our number one asset. As we try to overcome this most difficult phase and [go] into the new normal, we do so without letting our guard down," said Razon, chairman of ICTSI and BRC.

TDF is working with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine to fast-track the validation and approval of its required laboratory certification to conduct coronavirus tests.

As soon as it receives the accreditation, a memorandum of agreement will be signed between TDF, AC Health, and Bloomberry Cultural Foundation Incorporated (BCFI) to process confirmatory tests at TDF's facility.

"Consistent with our aim of helping the country's health infrastructure in tackling the extent of the pandemic, our decision to invest in mass testing will give us, our employees, and their loved ones the reassurance that they will have a safe working environment, which ICTSI and Solaire are well-known for," Razon said.

BCFI recently procured 100,000 test kits from China and South Korea. 

BCFI earlier donated P60 million worth of personal protective equipment and N95 masks to the DOH. (READ: LIST: Aid from Philippine companies during coronavirus pandemic– 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.