Press Release
May 20, 2020

PRC cited for doing 45% of covid tests

The Philippine Red Cross, headed by Senator Richard J. Gordon, was cited during the hearing of the Committee of the Whole for doing 45 percent of the COVID-19 tests conducted in the country.

During the hearing, Vivencio "Vince" Dizon, deputy chief implementer of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and president and CEO of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, disclosed that the PRC has been doing a big chunk of the tests, doing 45 percent of 11,123 tests conducted on May 14.

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, majority leader, pointed out that if the PRC, with Gordon as its chairman and CEO, was able to establish bio-molecular laboratories in such a short time, the IATF should be able to do it too.

"If the Philippine Red Cross, led by Sen. Gordon, which I am proud to be a member of, could do it in such a short time, why couldn't you do it?" he asked the IATF officials present during the hearin, which was called to discuss updates on COVID-19 situation in the country and get a general overview of the problem and the response taken by the government.

Even Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., came out with a tweet lauding Gordon and the Red Cross. "My God, 45% of total testing is being done by Dick Gordon's Red Cross! Jesus H. Christ. I really love Dick. And I don't care what anybody says about that. Proudly loving Dick," he said on his Twitter account.

Data from the PRC showed that it finished 4,590 tests on May 14; 5,040 on May 15; 5,400 on May 16; and 6,030 on May 17.

The PRC already established three molecular laboratories that are equipped with polymerase chain machines that can run up to a combined total of 12,000 test a day. The first two are located at the National Headquarters along EDSA and the third one, accredited last week, is located in Port Area, Manila. Other facilities are set to open in in Subic, Clark, Batangas, Los Banos, and Cebu, among other areas, in the next few weeks.

The PRC, which has the distinction of being the only Red Cross national society with a bio-molecular laboratory system, is planning on opening at least 20 bio-molecular laboratories throughout the entire country to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases that may emerge or re-emerge in the future.

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