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PRC to open bio-molecular lab in Mandaue, Cebu


The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) said it would inaugurate on Thursday its bio-molecular laboratory in Mandaue City in line with its efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Cebu, the pandemic's new epicenter in the country.

PRC chairman and CEO Senator Richard Gordon said the facility is equipped with four reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines that are capable of running a total of 4,000 tests daily.

“I have long been saying na testing is the key. To contain the virus, kailangan natin ang testing. We are dealing with an unseen enemy and it is only through testing that we can unmask it. ‘Pag marami tayong mate-test, malalaman natin kung sino ang mga carrier at maihihiwalay na natin sila sa mga pamilya nila at sa komunidad para hindi na sila makahawa pa at magagamot ang sakit nila,” Gordon said in a statement.

The opening of the new facility at the PRC-Mandaue office along Jagobiao Drive brought the PRC’s testing capacity to 36,000 tests daily.

“Pag na-control na natin ang contagion at pwede nang magbukas muli ang Cebu, madali ring makakabalik ang mga tao sa kanilang mga trabaho kung magpapa-test sila,” Gordon said.

“Pati ang mga bisita ay hindi na rin matatakot na pumunta sa Cebu dahil pwede niyo nang i-advertise na ang mga empleyado ng mga resort, restaurant o iba pang mga business establishments dito ay COVID-free na dahil na-test na sila. Kaya dapat magpa-test kayo at madali din kayong muling makabangon,” he added.

Gordon also called on the local government officials in Cebu to encourage their constituents to be tested.

He added barangay officials should also immediately report COVID-19 cases within their jurisdiction so the patients can be isolated and cured immediately. Contact tracing would also be facilitated at once.

“Dapat puntahan niyo yung barangay na maraming kaso at mag-test dun para mapuksa ang virus doon. Pag may positive case sa isang bahay, ihiwalay na agad at i-test din ang mga kasama niya sa bahay at habang naka-quarantine ang carrier, alagaan natin ‘yung maiiwan niyang pamilya, lalo na kung siya ang breadwinner,”  Gordon said.

“Bigyan natin sila ng pang-gastos, sapat na pagkain habang naka-quarantine ang kapamilya nila at mga gamot. Drain the swamp, ika nga. Gawin natin ‘yun sa mga barangay na may mga COVID cases para talagang mapuksa ang COVID. We have to ensure victory over COVID,” he added.

PRC molecular laboratories are already operating in Boni-EDSA in Mandaluyong, Port Area in Manila, Clark and Subic in Pampanga, and Batangas. -MDM, GMA News