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Author: Jeremy Ben Panga

GORDON: DO NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN

Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon strongly advises the public to always keep their guard up as COVID-19 cases in the country continue to rise. The Department of Health (DOH) recorded the third single-day tally with 20,019 new covid cases that bring the country’s caseload to 2,080,984.  In addition, the entire NCR, except for Manila, is at Alert Level 4 as the Delta variant is detected across all areas.

PRC is going above and beyond to beat the pandemic by deploying Bakuna Buses nationwide, vaccinating thousands of Filipinos daily. PRC also established different Bakuna Centers nationwide, continues operation of its emergency field hospital and isolation facilities, and leads the country for COVID-19 testing, having conducted over 4 million tests with an average additional tests of 8,000 daily

“We need to protect ourselves from this virus. Dapat lahat tayo ay magpabakuna in order to protect not just ourselves, but also the people around us. Importante din na tayo ay regular na magpatest, dahil through testing dito natin malalaman kung tayo ay positive o hindi,” Dick Gordon said.

As the premier humanitarian organization, PRC has been working tirelessly as an auxiliary to the government in its fight against COVID-19.

Since the declaration of a public health emergency, PRC has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 response program to alleviate human suffering and uplift the dignity of the people.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) vaccinated over 3,050 individuals through its bakuna bus last Sept. 03, 2021, prioritizing individuals belonging to the A1-A3 categories.

The Bakuna Bus is PRC’s 16-fleet of mobile vaccines, which roams around the different parts of the country vaccinating communities even in far-flung areas. The bakuna bus was first used during the polio-measles & rubella vaccination. 

“We need to ramp up our vaccination, mas marami ang hindi nabakunahan, mas mataas ang chance na mas marami ang magkaka severe cases dahil sa COVID-19. All vaccines work, the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is vaccination,” Sen. Dick Gordon said. 

All the vaccines administered by the bakuna bus are free of charge. PRC through the leadership of Chairman Gordon handles all the expenses and allowances of manpower to operate the 16 bakuna bus and 20 bakuna centers. 

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) responds to SM Mega Tower along EDSA Mandaluyong, City after a fire broke out on the 25th floor involving ten construction workers.  

PRC dispatched two fire trucks and four ambulances with 29 manpower to respond to the fire incident to immediately provide rescue operations and first aid to the affected workers trapped in the building.

“Kaagad natin ipinadala ang ating mga fire trucks at ambulances, at laging una ang Philippine Red Cross sa pag responde sa panahon ng emergency. Nagpadala din tayo ng 7 oxygen tanks sa mga nirescue na workers at para narin sa mga bumbero na walang takot na sumugod upang puksain ang apoy,” Sen. Dick Gordon said.

PRC also assisted 12 patients which include workers trapped in the building and firefighters who responded to the fire situation. PRC also treated security who sustained minor injuries.

The humanitarian organization also sets up a welfare desk to provide psychosocial support and food assistance to the affected individuals.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) deployed its Bakuna bus to Isabela and Cagayan to help the local government unit (LGU) to inoculate residents belonging to the A1 – A3 priority groups starting September 06, 2021.

PRC under the leadership of Chairman Sen. Dick Gordon with coordination with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the management of Emerging Infectious Disease will deploy its Bakuna Bus for COVID-19 vaccination.

“Laging handang tumulong at magbigay pag-asa ang Red Cross sa mga nangangailangan lalo na ngayong pandemya. We want to give protection to the most vulnerable by giving them access to vaccines that will prevent them from getting severe cases due to COVID-19,” Sen. Dick Gordon said.

Aside from the vaccination program by the PRC in the said provinces, the PRC Cagayan chapter also deployed its Hot Meals on Wheels to provide ready-to-eat meals to 1,796 children, pregnant women, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities in-home quarantine.

PRC Isabela Chapter through the directive of Sen. Dick Gordon also conducted livelihood programs to the most vulnerable families in Isabela by providing 10,000 cash assistance to 450 families to support them in their pangkabuhayan.

“Our goal at the very start is to alleviate human suffering and uplift human dignity. Ang binibigay ng red cross ay tulong na may kasamang dignidad upang makatayo ang bawat pamilya sa kanilang mga paa at patuloy na makaahon sa kahirapan dulot ng pandemya,” Gordon said.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) extends its Emergency Field Hospital (EFH) operations at the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) until October 2021, due to the rising cases of COVID-19, after it recorded an all-time high of 22,366 new cases last August 30, 2021.

LCP Executive Director Dr. Vincent Balanag, Jr, wrote a letter to Sen. Dick Gordon, requesting a two month extension of the PRC field hospital as the LCP hospital has been operating at full capacity for the past 2 weeks.

PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon immediately heed to the call for help from LCP, allowing the PRC Field hospital to extend for another 2 months.

“With 22, 366 cases reported today, the highest of recorded single-day tally since the start of this pandemic, we recognize the importance of the continuity of our service. Our emergency field hospital gives comfort not just to our patients, but knowing that there is a fully equipped surge-capacity health facility where they can be assessed and managed immediately,” Sen. Gordon said.

The EFH at LCP started in April to support the hospital in its operation serving as an emergency room extension equipped with basic ward facilities that will cater to mild to moderate cases.

“Hindi na natin hahayaan na may mamatay pa sa labas ng ospital kakaantay, kaagad natin ipinatayo ang mga emergency field hospital to give proper medical attention to especially to the most vulnerable,” Gordon said.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) continues to fight against Covid-19 and has already exceeded 4 million tests nationwide just three months after hitting the 3 million mark, PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon said.

The World Health Organization (WHO), on January 30, 2020, declared the Novel Corona Virus 19 as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. In less than a month, the virus caused severe pneumonia among people in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and has spread to more than 50 countries. By March 2020, it has affected 184 countries, and cases reached more than 200,000 worldwide. This chain of events led to the declaration of the National Capital Region (NCR) under COVID-19 Red Alert Sub-Level 2, which means that there is now sustained community transmission of the virus.  

Immediately after the WHO declaration of the Pandemic status of the spread of Covid 19, PRC Chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross Senator Dick Gordon convened a meeting with movement partners to plan the establishment of Molecular Laboratories in the Red Cross Blood Centers or Regional Hubs as the first response to the Pandemic in the country. 

Test to save Lives was the slogan. This started the ball rolling to network with Wuhan, China where the Pandemic started on how they were able to test so many in a short period, and isolate the positives or those with the virus so that in just 3-4 months the pandemic was controlled.

PRC established its first Molecular Laboratory for COVID-19 RT PCR tests to support the government’s efforts to stem the advance of COVID-19. To date, PRC has 13 molecular laboratories nationwide, which have conducted over 4 Million tests accounting for about 25% of the national test output and 33% of the tests in Metro Manila. PRC has tested 1 out of 4 Filipinos was tested by the PRC. 

Philippine Red Cross Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon led the Philippine Red Cross to establish 13 molecular laboratories capable to test 48,000 tests a day. Up to date, PRC is the leading organization surpassing the 4M mark just three months after hitting the 3M mark.

The humanitarian organization will also establish a new molecular laboratory in Cotabato, further strengthening PRC’s testing capacity to test more people nationwide. It started with the vision of Sen. Dick Gordon, who saw testing as a way to “drain the swamp.” At that time, the country had to rely heavily on the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and a handful of other laboratories that can only test for COVID-19 at the inadequate output of 300 samples per day. Testing was severely limited, and results were delayed. 

Sen. Dick Gordon is urging everyone to get tested regularly, as our fight against COVID-19 is far from over. 

With the threat of the delta variant and rising cases in our country, testing is one way to prevent the spread.   

Chairman Gordon also lead PRC to introduce the country’s Saliva RT-PCR test which is a faster, cheaper, and non-invasive alternative to the Swab RT-PCR test. PRC’s saliva test also uses the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, which is considered the gold standard for covid-19 testing according to the world health organization.

PRC also started its partnerships along with the different shopping centers such as SM Supermalls, Robinsons, Araneta City, and Ayala Malls, and Angkas to serve as a saliva collection site, making it accessible to more people nationwide.

More than testing, PRC also established Emergency Field Hospitals, Isolation facilities, Vaccination centers, Hot Meals on Wheels, and Vaccines on wheels all over the country, as part of PRC’s covid-19 response.

Philippine Red Cross

Born officially in 1947, but with roots that traces back to the revolutionary days, the Philippine Red Cross has truly become the premier humanitarian organization in the country, committed to provide quality life-saving services that protect the life and dignity especially of indigent Filipinos in vulnerable situations.

Address: 37 EDSA corner Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Hotline: 143 Trunkline +63 2 8790 2300
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Since October 28, 2022, #PaengPH has brought incessant heavy rains causing floods and flash floods in different parts of the Philippines, claiming several lives of our kababayans. As Philippine Red Cross mobilized our volunteers and help through rescue operations, medical assistance, #PRCHotMeals, and other interventions, we are appealing for donations IN KIND OR IN CASH to effectively support the most vulnerable. Together, let's save lives and help those in need.

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