PRC eyes conducting more tests after Manila lab passes proficiency test

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The Philippine Red Cross will now be capable of running up to 12,000 tests a day after the Department of Health accredited its bio-molecular laboratory in Port Area, Manila as a certified COVID-19 testing center.

Senator Richard J. Gordon, PRC chairman and CEO, said this is after the PRC’s third laboratory, on Friday, passed the proficiency test conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

“I am glad that our bio-molecular laboratory in Manila has been accredited. Now we can do more tests because the more people we test, the better chances we have of preventing the further spread of the disease. The focus must be victory over the virus. That’s why we have to test, test and test — to unmask the invisible enemy,” he said.

The PRC, which has the distinction of being the only Red Cross national society with a bio-molecular laboratory system, already opened two testing centers that are both equipped with polymerase chain machines that can run up to a total of 8,000 tests a day. Like the first two, the newly-accredited facility in Manila is also equipped with four PCR machines that are also capable of processing up to a total of 4,000 tests a day.

Gordon said they are set to open four other testing centers in Subic, Clark, Batangas and Los Banos in the next few weeks.

In addition, he also disclosed that, after experiencing labor pains, the first two laboratories are now close to hitting the 8,000 tests a day target.

“We are now close to resolving the difficulties we expected to encounter during the initial phase of our laboratories’ operations. These past two weeks, we’ve been seeing gradual increases in the number of tests we completed each day and at 11:40 last night, we hit the 5,000 mark,” Gordon said with elation, at the same time, citing the dedication and hard work of PRC’s staff and volunteers, who work day and night./Stacy Ang

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