MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and Senator Richard Gordon on Wednesday, April 22, said that the humanitarian agency has 3 testing laboratories in Metro Manila capable of doing 12,000 coronavirus tests a day.
PRC has one testing laboratory in its headquarters in Mandaluyong currently operating with polymerase chain reaction machines.
In an interview with CNN Philippines, Gordon said that each of the coronavirus testing machine is capable of processing 1,000 tests a day. Each testing laboratory has four machines, for an output of 4,000 tests per day.
“Kung tatlo yang laboratories na ‘yan (If we have 3 laboratories), that’s equivalent to 12,000 tests a day,” Gordon said.
According to Gordon, the two other laboratories are still awaiting accreditation from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). They are stationed in another PRC office in Mandaluyong and at their office in Intramuros, Manila.
“Kung a-aprove na ni RITM ang pangalawa tonight, that’s an additional 4,000 so 8,000 a day na ‘yan (If the RITM approves the second lab tonight, that’s an additional 4,000 making, it 8,000 tests a day). If we open the one in Intramuros by Monday, that’s an additional 4,000 tests,” Gordon said.
Gordon said that those who want to avail of the PRC’s coronavirus test will have to make an appointment through their hotline 1158 and must pay P3,500.
However, Gordon, explained that only those with COVID-19 symptoms are allowed to take the test.
“Kaya dumadaan sa 1158 kasi ini-interview muna namin (That’s why it’s being coursed through 1158 because we interview them first),” Gordon added.
Gordon said that some local government units have already coordinated with them in conducting mass testing. He added that the Red Cross will add more machines in some provinces in Luzon, and some areas in Visayas and Mindanao.
The government announced that it has ramped up its testing capacity for COVID-19 from 3,000 to 8,000 tests a day to be conducted by 17 accredited testing centers. (READ: Where are testing centers for coronavirus in PH?)
The DOH said that it has tested 61,049 individuals as of April 21.
As of Wednesday, the Philippines has 6,710 coronavirus cases, with 446 deaths and 693 recoveries. – Rappler.com