Philippine Red Cross, Security Bank to open COVID-19 testing center in Cebu

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 15 2020 06:17 PM

A medical technologist mans one of the stations at the Philippine Red Cross Molecular Laboratory/COVID-19 Testing Center. Photo from Philippine Red Cross Official Facebook page

MANILA - The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) said Friday it was opening a coronavirus testing facility in Cebu City, which recorded many cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

PRC's bio-molecular laboratory in Cebu City will be built using the P15-million donation from the Security Bank Foundation, PRC chair Sen. Richard Gordon said in a statement.

"The need for testing cannot be over-emphasized in order to unmask the virus and prevent or control its spread," he said.

The testing center that will be opened along Osmeña Boulevard is expected to be equipped with polymerase chain machines that can run up to a total of 8,000 COVID-19 tests a day.

As of mid-April, the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City is the lone DOH-accredited COVID-19 testing facility in the province.

As of May 11, Cebu - the most populous island in the Visayas - has registered 1,582 COVID-19 cases. Of the COVID-19 patients in Cebu, 16 died, 27 recovered, while the rest are still battling the contagious disease.

Cebu, along with Metro Manila and Laguna, were the three areas left under enhanced community quarantine until May 31 as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise in these places.

Aside from the testing facility in Cebu, the PRC also plans to open COVID-19 laboratories in Manila, Pampanga, Batangas, Los Baños, and Gordon's hometown Subic.