Mandaluyong City — As the country sees an increasing number of new cases of Covid-19, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon encourages the public to get tested to prevent the undetected transmission of the virus. The Department of Health Covid-19 tracker shows an increasing number of new cases added daily, based on a 7-day moving average.
“With the alarming increase in positivity rates in the past weeks, and as we see more and more of our friends and family developing symptoms, we at the PRC encourage everyone to get tested to ensure that we and our loved ones are safe from Covid,” Chairman Gordon said.
At the onset of the pandemic, in 2020, the PRC was the first to set up a molecular laboratory in the country that is capable of conducting automated RT-PCR tests to detect Covid-19. The PRC’s first molecular laboratory started operations in April 2020, one month after former President Duterte declared a community quarantine in the National Capital Region. The setting up of molecular laboratories was the PRC’s response to the need for “unmasking the enemy,” or revealing infections, so that persons infected could be isolated and not infect others.
As of August 14, 2022, the PRC has completed more than 5.6 million swab and saliva RT-PCR tests in the country. Go to https://tinyurl.com/2wwvnz2j to book an RT-PCR test. The PRC molecular laboratories offer discounts to senior citizens and persons with disability.
In support of the government’s efforts to encourage the public to get vaccinated and avail of booster shots against COVID-19, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) opened its 1st Bakuna Center in Malabon City, July 20.
The PRC Bakuna Center, in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH), Local Government Unit of Malabon, and the Rotary Club of Malabon, vaccinated 66 individuals, including senior citizens, immunocompromised patients, and qualified adolescents 12-17 years old on its opening day. The new Bakuna Center in Malabon is one of the many COVID-19 programs that the PRC continues to provide amid the increasing cases in the country.
Since February 2022, the PRC Malabon Chapter has administered 4,116 doses, which is added to the PRC’s total of 1,211,810 doses with 375,094 fully vaccinated individuals.
“Patuloy ang pakikipag-ugnayan ng Red Cross sa local government units at pribadong ahensiya para tugunan ang panawagan na mahikayat ang ating mga kababayan na magpabakuna. Ang Bakuna Center sa Malabon ay naglalayong mailapit ang ating mga bakuna sa mga komunidad na nangangailangan,” Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon said.
Present during the opening were Hon. Jeannie Sandoval, Mayor of Malabon City and Chairperson of PRC Malabon City Chapter, officials from DOH and Malabon City Health Office, and volunteers and staff of the PRC.
All 14 Philippine Red Cross (PRC) molecular laboratories across the country received Certificates of Proficiency for 2022 from the Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM). The proficiency tests, given annually by RITM to DOH-accredited molecular laboratories, are part of RITM’s quality assessment post-accreditation for the real-time detection of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes CoVID-19.
All 14 molecular laboratories of the PRC passed the proficiency tests, which consist of Nucleic Acid Extraction, PCR Master Mix Preparation, Real-Time RT-PCR, RT-PCR results interpretation, and RT-PCR results reporting. All 14 PRC laboratories needed only one take to meet the RITM requirements.
The PRC’s molecular laboratories are located in (1) PRC National Blood Center, Mandaluyong City, (2) PRC Logistics and Multi-purpose Center, Mandaluyong City, (3) Port Area, Manila, (4) Ilagan City, Isabela, (5) Subic, Zambales, (6) Clark, Pampanga, (7) Batangas City, (8) Mandaue City, Cebu, (9) Passi City, Iloilo, (10) Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, (11) Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, (12) Surigao City, Surigao del Norte (13) Cotabato City-Maguindanao area, and (14) Zamboanga City.
The first laboratory started operation in April 2020. Since then, PRC has tested 5,605,651 swab and saliva samples for CoVID-19. “Ang Philippine Red Cross ang kauna-unahang nagkaroon ng automated RT-PCR tests sa Pilipinas. Araw-araw, sinisikap ng aming volunteers at staff na laging maging una, laging handa, at laging nandyan para sa ating mga kababayan sa panahon ng emergency at sakuna,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) assures the public that its blood supplies are adequate for Dengue patients as the Department of Health (DOH) reports recent increases in Dengue cases starting at the end of March 2022.
The DOH also reported that, from April 10 to May 7, 2022, most of the Dengue cases were from Region IX (908 cases), Region VII (881 cases), and Region III (593 cases). In response, the PRC conducts dengue awareness and prevention activities to help the DOH in its efforts to curb the continuous increase in the number of Dengue cases in the country.
The PRC also reminds the public of the need to always practice the 4-S campaign to prevent the Dengue virus: Search and destroy breeding places, Secure self-protection, Seek early consultation, and Support fogging/spraying in hotspot areas.
In addition, the PRC encourages healthy individuals to donate blood regularly through its 100 facilities nationwide as this act saves the lives of Dengue patients. “Makatitiyak ang ating mga kababayan na laging sapat ang supply ng dugo ng Red Cross para sa mga nangangailangan, lalo ngayong panahon ng tag-ulan at nariyan na naman ang banta ng Dengue sa atin,” Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon said.
As of June 20, the PRC has served 700 blood units to 239 Dengue patients.
For immediate blood requests and other inquiries, contact the PRC Blood Call Center which may be reached nationwide by dialing 143.
Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and CEO Sen. Richard J. Gordon urged the public to get tested promptly for early detection and prevent transmission of Covid-19 as the Department of Health (DOH) reported an increasing number of cases. The DOH recorded 3,051 new cases for the period June 13-19, 2022, 82% higher than that recorded the previous week, June 6-12, 2022.
Chairman Gordon also encouraged the public to get vaccinated or receive a booster shot for added protection. Gordon assured the Filipinos that PRC is prepared for the surge, with its 14 operational molecular laboratories across the country. The PRC also continues to support the government’s vaccination efforts through its 17 Bakuna Buses, 26 Bakuna Centers, and 24 Bakuna Teams to the LGUs.
“Sa lahat ng panahon, ginagawa namin sa Red Cross ang lahat para maging laging una at laging handang tumugon sa panahon ng kalamidad at sakuna,” Gordon said.
To book a RT-PCR test, go to https://redcross.org.ph/. The PRC vaccination centers, Bakuna Buses, and Bakuna Teams offer free vaccinations across the country; walk-in clients are welcome from 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday.