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.
As the National and Local Elections 2022 are concluded, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), under the leadership of its Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon, reminded the public to get vaccinated and observe COVID-related symptoms.
To assist the government with its vaccination efforts, the PRC also deployed its 20 Bakuna Buses to different communities across the country. Each is designed with a spacious interior for vaccination, storage of supplies, and patients’ waiting area. The PRC also continues to offer one of the most affordable reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, including the cheaper and less invasive saliva-based test administered only by the organization’s 14 molecular laboratories.
“Muli kong hinihikayat ang ilan sa ating mga kababayan na hindi pa nababakunahan na magparehistro o mag-walk in lamang sa Red Cross upang kayo’y mabigyan ng vaccination schedule at maprotektahan laban sa kumakalat na virus. Nariyan pa rin ang ating abot-kayang RT-PCR test at mga Bakuna Buses na lumilibot sa iba’t ibang parte ng bansa upang magbigay serbisyo. Sama-sama tayo laban sa COVID-19,” Chairman Dick Gordon said.
Aside from offering these services, the PRC encourages the public, particularly the elderly and immunocompromised patients, to observe the minimum public health standards, which include immediate isolation if COVID-related symptoms are experienced. This is in response to the Department of Health’s latest National COVID-19 Case Bulletin last May 9, 2022, which reports over 1,000 COVID-19 new cases, 14 of which are severe and critical.
“Nariyan pa rin ang banta ng COVID-19 sa ating paligid, kaya nais nating paalalahanan ang publiko na sundin palagi ang itinakdang guidelines ng ating gobyerno. Red Cross is always ready to help, particularly in administering COVID-19 vaccine, RT-PCR test, and other humanitarian services.” Chairman Gordon added.
To date, the PRC has administered 1,169,428 vaccination doses and tested patients using either the swab or saliva method.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) hit one million Saliva RT-PCR tests on November 12, 2021, since its launching last January 25, 2021. PRC Saliva RT-PCR test is the first and only in the country.
Saliva RT-PCR test is a study by the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Campus (UIUC) and the University of the Philippines as an alternative to the Swab RT-PCR test. The saliva RT-PCR test is through the initiative of PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon to bring a faster, cheaper, and non-invasive alternative for the swab RT-PCR test.
PRC also innovates to make the Saliva RT-PCR test accessible to the public through its local chapters and partnerships with Malls such as SM, Robinsons, Araneta City, and Ayala Malls, making it to 124 collection sites nationwide.
PRC also partners with Angkas to make Saliva RT-PCR collection sites to make RT-PCR tests convenient for the clients who want to get tested in the comfort of their homes.
“Testing is the key. Sa pag abot natin nang one million saliva tests conducted, ay patuloy na magtetest ang Philippine Red Cross sa ating mga kababayan. Malapit na magbukas ang mga paaralan, kaya dapat mas ipagtibay natin ang pagtetest at pagbabakuna upang labanan ang COVID-19,” PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon said.
PRC is the leading organization with 4.8 million people tested. With the drive-thru collection sites nationwide, Home service saliva collection sites, and the opening of the 14th PRC molecular laboratory in the Philippines, PRC will soon reach the 5 million mark in the following weeks, gearing to be a significant help in the battle against COVID-19.
“The saliva RT-PCR test with an accuracy of 98.23% remains to be a game-changer for our country. The reduced cost of testing (PHP 1,500), gives way to test more people such as students, employees, factory workers, healthcare workers, and other essential workers. Rest assured that PRC remains committed to its duty of finding ways to test more and keep Filipinos out of harm’s way,” Sen. Gordon said.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) launches its home service saliva RT-PCR test through its partnership with Angkas, the first and largest app-based professional motorcycle taxi service in the country, starting October 13, 2021.
PRC and Angkas held a memorandum of agreement last February 24, 2021, just a month after the introduction of the Philippines’ first and only Saliva RT-PCR test. This partnership will provide easy, safer, and faster access for the clients who want to get tested for COVID-19.
The partnership includes PRC membership program enrollment of all Angkas riders, employees, and family members. In line with this, Angkas riders will also receive first aid training, which will enable them to respond to road accidents and give immediate help, becoming emergency responders on the road even during disasters.
Angkas riders will be given the same training and will be certified as Saliva Specimen Collector. The training included proper handling and dispatch, apart from the collection. This partnership will also provide the riders livelihood in this time of the pandemic.
“Our partnership with Angkas is a game-changer because this will further strengthen our reach and capacity to provide service to the most vulnerable – wherever and whenever it is needed. Ang goal natin ay mas mapabilis ang pagbibigay natin ng serbisyo at dadalhin natin ito sa kanilang mga bahay. Every minute matters in life-saving, and having quick access through the use of motorcycles and a network of trained volunteers will make a great difference,” PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon said.
To date, PRC has already tested 4,603,371 tests, which is 21% of the country’s national testing output, through its 14 molecular laboratories. By strengthening PRC’s testing efforts, will provide the Filipinos with safer and happier holidays.