Red Cross to test teachers, informal settlers for COVID-19 in Manila port area lab

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 28 2020 12:12 PM | Updated as of Jun 28 2020 12:35 PM

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MANILA - The Philippine Red Cross will test for COVID-19 teachers, members of the media, and informal settlers around the Port Area in Manila, its officials said Sunday.

"Nagsisiksikan yang mga media pag kumukuha (ng balita), lalo na 'yang mga cameraman. Dapat ipa-test sila. Also, mga teachers, because they're always present sa mga estudyante," Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, said on ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

(The media are always huddled when getting reports, especially the cameramen. They should be tested. Also the teachers, because they're with their students.)

Gordon said the PRC would also test workers in tourist areas like Boracay, Bohol, Siargao, Palawan, Subic, and Clark.

"Ang habol natin is not just to test, trace and treat, but to get them back to work right away. Ibalik natin ang trabaho sa mga Pilipino," he said.

(Our aims is not just to test, trace and treat, but to get them back to work right away. Let's give the Filipinos their jobs back.)

The PRC launched Saturday its new laboratory that aims to cater also to some 5,700 healthcare workers in Metro Manila who have yet to be tested for the coronavirus and all outgoing passengers and crew of the Philippine Airlines, according to Paulyn Ubial, the PRC's head of molecular laboratories and a former health secretary.

The laboratory can process up to 14,000 coronavirus tests per day.

The Philippines' daily coronavirus testing capacity reached 50,000 last Thursday, according to Vince Dizon, deputy chief implementer of the country's pandemic response.

Government has run 612,571 COVID-19 tests as of June 22, Dizon said as he noted that the government plans to reach 1 million next month.

As of Saturday, the Philippines has reported 34,803 COVID-19 cases, with 1,236 deaths and 9,430 recoveries.