BATANGAS CITY, Philippines – The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) opened here Wednesday, July 8, its molecular laboratory after being certified as an accredited COVID-19 testing center by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
Senator Richard J. Gordon, PRC chairman and CEO, said the new facility is equipped with 4 RT-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines that can run a combined total of 4,000 tests a day. This is the biggest testing capability in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region and can cover other nearby provinces.
“We are glad to have this laboratory up and running because more people should get tested. Testing is the key to get our economy going again and this is more so, here in Batangas and in the whole region, with its different economic zones, techno-parks, industrial zones and others,” he said.
Gordon said that because of testing, carriers of the virus can be separated from those who are not and thus stop further transmission. Equally important, he added, is that testing will also enable people to get back to their jobs.
“Kapag na-test na ang mga tao, makakapagbukas na ulit ang mga pabrika at iba pa dito, dahil makakapasok na ang mga empleyado nila. Kaya natutuwa ako dahil pwede nang magsimula ng operations dito sa Batangas kasi marami tayong mga pabrika dito, pati sa Laguna na malapit lang din dito at iba pang lugar,” he said.
(If people are tested, factories can open again because their workers can return to work. I’m happy that factories here in Batangas can resume operations, because there are a lot of here, and in Laguna as well, which is just nearby.)
“Ang tao, walang pambili dahil walang trabaho kaya binigyan ng pera ng gobyerno. Pero hindi pwedeng habambuhay bibigyan ng gobyerno ng pera. Kaya dapat makapagtrabaho na ulit. Ang sinasabi ko, para makapagtrabaho na, dapat kayo ay magpa-test,” the senator also stressed.
(People cannout purchase goods because they do not have jobs. That’s why the government gives out financial assistance. But the government cannot keep on giving dole-outs. That is why work should resume. What I’m saying is, so you can go back to work, get yourself tested.)
PRC now has a total combined testing capacity of 32,000 tests a day. Aside from the Batangas facility, the PRC also opened molecular laboratories in its former national headquarters in Port Area, Manila, which can run 14,000 tests; Subic and Clark, 6,000 tests and two in its headquarters in Mandaluyong, which can finish 8,000 tests a day. – Rappler.com