AS the world continues to battle with the Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross stressed that testing at least 13% of the population is key to getting the economy going again.
During the inauguration of the largest molecular laboratory that the PRC opened in Port Area, Manila on Saturday, Gordon said testing 1.7-million residents of Metro Manila, which is 13% of its population, would not only enable people to get back to their jobs and get the economy going, but it would also prevent the virus from further spreading outside of the metropolis.
“We can fix the problem if we really focus on testing the particular areas that need to be tested. Halimbawa sa Laguna, Batangas maraming pabrika diyan. You want them to start, so test them so they can go to work. Pag na-test mo na sila, they can go to work. Boracay, Siargao, etc, meron tayo diyan. Tatakbo ekonomiya natin,” he said.
“Walang pambili ‘yung tao dahil walang trabaho kaya kailangan bigyan mo ng pera, binigyan ng pera ng gobyerno. Pero hindi pwedeng habambuhay bibigyan ng gobyerno ng pera. Walang tatagal na gobyerno niyan. Ang sinasabi ko sa kanila, kung gusto niyong makapagtrabaho dapat kayo ay magpa-test. This is the epicenter, so if we finish it here mahihirapan ng lumipat sa ibang lugar,” the PRC chairman added.
The Red Cross recently inaugurated, in its former national headquarters, a molecular laboratory that is equipped with 14 RT-polymerase reaction chain machines and seven automated ribonucleic acid extraction machines or Natch. With the existing facilities in Manila, Mandaluyong, Subic and, Clark, the PRC will have a total of 34 RT-PCR machines once the laboratories in Batangas and Laguna are opened in the next few days and will have a testing capacity of 34,000 test per day.
“Magkakaroon tayo ng 22,000 test capacity dito sa Manila pa lang. Dapat bumilis lahat ng tetestingin natin dahil sobra ang capacity. Pero ang pumapasok right now umaabot lang ng 2,000 to 3,000. Dapat lahat ng mayor, lahat ng mga taong gustong magpa-test, magpa-test dahil doon lang tayo makakapagtrabaho. If we have all these apparatus going in Subic, Clark, Batangas and Laguna, we can finish Manila in 50 days. Then we can quell the virus right away,” Gordon stressed.