The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) continues to contribute to the country’s fight against Covid-19 and has already exceeded 2 million swab tests nationwide, Senator Richard Gordon, PRC chairman and chief executive officer, said on Sunday.
The PRC started conducting Covid-19 swab tests in April 2020, processing an average of 9,000 samples per day nationwide. The organization hit the 1-million mark six months later in October 2020.
The 2-million milestone by 13 PRC molecular laboratories nationwide accounts for 24 percent of the country’s output, and for about 37 percent of testing in National Capital Region.
In the first two months of 2021 alone, the PRC has also started rolling out the cheaper, non-invasive, but accurate saliva RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) tests in their laboratories, and in drive-thru collection sites in malls all over the country.
Soon, home collection of saliva samples will also be available through Angkas bikers so that more people can avail of the tests while staying safe in their homes.
“The Philippine Red Cross remains committed to saving lives and alleviating human suffering. I thank all the researchers, medical technologists, staff, and volunteers who continue to hold our first line of defense against our unseen yet unforgiving enemy,” Gordon said.
But the PRC Chair also stressed that this should not be a cause for celebration, but “a reminder that we still have to be aggressive in testing, tracing, and treating the virus.”
“We need to detect the virus and keep its spread at bay early on, so we can safely return to work, go back to school, and restart our lives,” he added.
Public health specialist Dr. Susan Mercado also emphasized the importance of testing, stating that: “Testing is always going to be a pillar or foundation of disease control.”
Both swab and saliva RT-PCR tests are available for booking at the PRC official website, https://book.redcross.org.ph/. The PRC Helpline 1158 is also operational 24/7 to address concerns related to Covid-19. (PNA)