Senator Richard Gordon said the Philippine Red Cross’ COVID-19 testing centers are picking up speed as he noted that the testing capacity would expand to 20,000 a day, with the opening of another testing center in Port Area, Manila this week and four others in Subic, Clark, Batangas and Los Banos in the next few weeks.
Gordon, PRC chairman and CEO, reported that starting Monday, the test centers have been working work harder than the last two weeks because more samples are being turned in.
“I am elated that our testing centers are picking up speed as more samples come in; though our machines are still not maximized,” he said.
He related that the Philippine Coast Guard and some local government units in Metro Manila have started sending more samples and I commend them.
“Testing is the key, that’s why I call on the LGUs to test more people, because the more people are tested, the faster the enemy will be unmasked,” he said.
He said the PRC already opened two testing centers that are both equipped with polymerase chain reaction machines that can run up to a total of 8,000 tests a day.
Records showed that a total of 12,622 unique individuals have been tested by the PRC from April 16 to May 4.
From a high of a little more than 700 last week due to the small number of samples to be tested, this week showed a dramatic increase in the output of the facilities.
On May 4, a total of 990 tests were conducted; 1,980 on May 5; and 2,136 as of 7 pm of May 6.
Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma will also be donating an additional 50,000 COVID-19 testing kits to the Philippines through Senator Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao said he continues to communicate with Jack Ma, as well as with some of my friends who are also donating.
“And then good thing is Jack Ma magbibigay will again give 50,000 testing kits,” he added.
Pacquiao said he has yet to receive information on when the donated testing kits will arrive in the country.
In March, Ma donated 57,000 testing kits worth P400 million to the Philippines, which were turned over by Pacquiao’s foundation to the Department of Health (DOH).
Aside from testing kits, Ma also donated 500,000 face masks./Stacy Ang