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PRC testing capacity to increase with the opening of Clark’s bio-molecular lab

By Mario B. Casayuran

The testing capacity of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is expected to increase further as its bio-molecular laboratory in Clark formally opened on Friday.

According to PRC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Senator Richard J. Gordon, the laboratory in Clark, which was built in partnership with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), is now up and ready to run after it passed last week the proficiency test of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and was accredited as a certified COVID-19 testing center.

“Our molecular laboratory in Clark is equipped with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines that are capable of testing 2,000 samples per day, which will enable us to run an overall total of 16,000 tests a day since we are also opening our laboratory in Subic. This will really help us as we ramp up our testing capacity so that more people will get tested all over the country,” said Gordon.

Gordon, who visited the laboratory located at the Clark Civil Aviation Complex within Clark Freeport Zone, also reiterated the importance of testing the public for COVID-19.

“Our aim is to really get our people tested so that we can immediately isolate those who are affected and prevent the non-carriers from acquiring the virus. We really have to ramp up testing to ensure victory over COVID-19,” he said.

The first two molecular laboratories of the PRC are located at its national headquarters in EDSA.

Aside from these, another laboratory in its former headquarters in Port Area, Manila is already running. Other testing centers in Batangas, Laguna, Mandaue City, Isabela, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga City, Bacolod City, and Surigao are also opening soon.

Gordon said the PRC is planning to add 10 more PCR machines in Manila which will allow them to do a total of 46,000 tests per day.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/06/19/prc-testing-capacity-to-increase-with-the-opening-of-clarks-bio-molecular-lab/)

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