MANILA - The Philippine Red Cross has 10 licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories nationwide and is working to lower its testing price, its officials said Sunday.
The Red Cross conducted 11,138 tests on Saturday, while more laboratories located in Surigao, Cotabato, Passi City in Iloilo, and Isabela are targeted to be operational in the next few weeks, said former Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, who now heads the Philippine Red Cross' biomolecular laboratories.
"Ang nakukuha nating positive patients is 7 percent. Bumababa na po siya. As of yesterday, 4percent na lang ang nakukuha nating positive. I think this is a good development in terms of pandemic control in the Philippines, she told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(The rate of positive patients is at 7 percent. It has since gone down to 4 percent, as of yesterday.)
The Philippines as of Saturday reported 319,330 cases of COVID-19, with 255,046 recoveries and 5,678 deaths.
The Red Cross, meantime, is working to make COVOD-19 testing more affordable to Filipinos, said its chairman Sen. Richard Gordon.
COVID-19 testing in private hospitals costs between P4,000 to even over P10,000 for express results.
"Pinipilit naming maibaba ang presyo ng sinisingil namin sa PhilHealth at saka sa mga mamamayan. 'Pag nangyari yan, baka umabot ng P2,500 or even P1,500 'pag nagawa ang aming project," he said.
(We try our best to lower the price we ask from PhilHealth and the public. If this goes well, it might go down to P2,500 to P1,500.)
PhilHealth currently owes Red Cross some P700 million for its testing activities, he added.
The Oct. 3, 2020 COVID-19 situationer report of the Department of Health showed that the Philippines has 107 accredited RT-PCR laboratories and 33 licensed genexpert labs.
More than 3.6 million individuals have been tested, it added.