The Philippine Red Cross will start testing residents in Quezon City next week for COVID-19 according to Philippine Red Cross chairman Senator Richard Gordon.
In an Inquirer report, he explains that this is only the start of the mass testing and will not stop in Quezon City as they plan to test as much as possible nationwide.
The organization is only initially focusing on Quezon City because it is the city with the most number of citizens affected by the virus with a total of 140 confirmed cases and 26 deaths. Thereafter, Gordon says, “We want to make sure that we can assist them and make sure that the most affected can get tested right away.”
He then goes on to explain that the tests will be done by using two Polymerase Chain Reaction machines that can detect the presence of COVID-19. Each machine has the capacity to produce 1,500 test results per day. A team from the Quezon City local government will thereon bring the testing swab samples taken from residents to Philippine Red Cross’ headquarters in Mandaluyong City.
COVID-19 UPDATE No. 34
(April 02, 2020 | 4PM)
Another 322 patients have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 2,633 cases in the Philippines. So far, 51 patients have recovered and 107 have died according to the Department of Health. pic.twitter.com/jGpGM085fK
— Philippine Red Cross (@philredcross) April 2, 2020
Furthermore, he reassures that “the machines that we have are automated that provides for a test that would give fairly good accuracy and, therefore, if we have those tests done we will be able to identify the enemy.”
Although he also cautions that the series of tests will not be given to persons who “do not show overt signs of COVID-19” but rather will be allocated for those who have symptoms in selected areas.
“The enemy is unseen and the objective of every government is to try to find out who’s got them. That’s why testing must be important and that’s why we really have to have massive testing.” he concludes.
Medical technicians from the Philippine Red Cross will reportedly be trained over the weekend by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and according to the Philippine Red Cross chairman, “should be operational by Wednesday.”
Header photo courtesy of Cebudailynews.inquirer.net
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Writer: JOY THERESE GOMEZ