MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) will start testing Quezon City residents next week for the coronavirus that causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), its chairman said on Thursday.
According to PRC chairman Senator Richard Gordon, the PRC will use two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines to detect the presence of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
“It’s not just for Quezon City, we plan to test as much as possible nationwide…We’re just focusing in Quezon City because it is the number one (city) where there’s an awful lot of COVID-affected folks so we wanna make sure that we can assist them and make sure that the most affected can get tested right away,” Gordon said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.
“We’re not gonna give the test to anybody who does not show overt signs of COVID but we’re gonna give the test to those who have symptoms,” he added.
One machine can produce 1,500 test results per day, the PRC chairman said.
He said medical technicians from the PRC will be trained over the weekend by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
“By Wednesday, they should be operational already,” he added.
Gordon explained that a team from the Quezon City local government will bring to PRC’s headquarters in Mandaluyong City for testing swab samples taken from residents in selected areas of the city.
“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,” Gordon said.
“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 added.
To date, the Philippines has recorded 2,311 cases of COVID-19.
Of this number, 96 have died while 50 patients have so far recovered.
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