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Covid-19 testing facility opens in Subic Bay Freeport
Aug 01, 2020

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) formally opened a molecular laboratory inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone on June 19, 2020 to boost its mass-testing program in the Central Luzon area under a joint project with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

The laboratory has the capacity to do 2,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests daily, said Senator Richard Gordon, who is PRC chairman.

“The Subic lab is already open. We need to have the employees of SBMA tested first, then those of the locators, and then the public in Olongapo Zambales and Bataan,” Gordon said after inspecting the laboratory. He was joined by SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma and Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO Vince Dizon, the deputy chief implementer of the government’s Covid-19 response.

“Our aim is to get our people tested so that we can immediately isolate those who are affected and prevent the non-carriers from acquiring the virus. We really have to ramp up testing to ensure victory over Covid,” he added.

PRC’s Subic laboratory located at the former naval magazine area here will work in tandem with the SBMA’s swabbing center, strategically located at the Freeport main gate.

SBMA chief Eisma said the SBMA will assign up to 15 swabbers in the facility to accommodate samples from nearby communities and provinces. “Zambales is already sending swab samples for testing at the PRC labs in Manila. Now, Subic offers a nearer alternative that would also hasten the process make the results available earlier,” she said.

The Red Cross testing facility in the Freeport is equipped with an automated RNA extraction machine that can run 90 samples per hour, and two PCR machines that can each process 1,000 samples a day for a daily turnout of 2,000 tests.

Business Mirror news link of this story

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