The daily testing capacity of the Philippine Red Cross increased to 12,000 after its bio-molecular laboratory in Port Area, Manila was certified as a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) center.
According to PRC Chairman Richard Gordon, the laboratory passed the proficiency test conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine on Friday.
“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," Gordon said in a statement.
"The focus must be victory over the virus. That’s why we have to test, test and test — to unmask the invisible enemy,” he added.
The Port Area laboratory was the third PRC laboratory to be accredited.
All laboratories are equipped with four polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines which may process up to a total of 4,000 tests a day.
Gordon said that the first two laboratories could soon be able to conduct 8,000 tests daily.
“We are now close to resolving the difficulties we expected to encounter during the initial phase of our laboratories’ operations," he said.
"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,” he added.
The Philippine Red Cross may open four more testing centers in Subic, Clark, Batangas, and Los Baños in the following weeks, according to Gordon. — DVM/KG, GMA News