PRC Covid-19 tests nationwide exceed 3 million

(Photo courtesy of Philippine Red Cross Facebook)

MANILA – The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has exceeded three million swab and saliva RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) Covid-19 tests nationwide, only three months after it hit the 2-million milestone in February 2021.

There were 3,010,432 tests done as of Sunday morning, according to PRC chair and CEO Senator Richard Gordon.

“We at the Red Cross continue to remain diligent against this invisible enemy, by testing 24 percent of the country’s nationwide output and even accounting for 40 percent of total tests conducted during the recent surge,” Gordon said in a news release.

“If we did not go into testing, 250,000 Covid-19 positive cases would have gone undetected and unknowingly spread the virus.”

PRC constructed its first molecular laboratory for Covid-19 RT-PCR testing in its national headquarters in just 14 days to support the government’s efforts to stem the advance of the virus.

It was accredited by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine on April 14, 2020, or a month after the World Health Organization declared the virus a pandemic.

This was quickly followed by the establishment of laboratories in the PRC Logistics and Multipurpose Center and PRC Port Area, the latter being the biggest molecular laboratory in the country with more than a million tests conducted.

To date, the PRC runs 13 molecular laboratories nationwide, processing one out of four tests.

“The country’s battle against Covid-19 is far from over, and the Red Cross will continue to improve and innovate to reinforce our defense against the virus,” Gordon said.

Under Gordon’s leadership, the PRC introduced the saliva RT-PCR testing in the country in January 2021.

The faster, cheaper, and non-invasive alternative to nose and throat swabbing is also being rolled out in shopping centers to make it more accessible.

The humanitarian organization is also mobilizing its 103 chapters nationwide to augment the national government’s vaccination efforts.

It is currently seeking accreditation for its Bakuna Centers from the Department of Health, as well as training volunteer doctors, nurses, and staff to administer vaccines.

“Our Red Cross staff and volunteers detect the virus, take care of the Covid-19 positive individuals in isolation and the families they would leave behind, and treat those who need immediate care in our field hospitals,” Gordon stated. (PR)

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