The number of COVID-19
cases in the country is yet to be flattened. Several actions are being done to curb the rise of cases, and one of these is mass testing. Mass testing means rapidly testing a huge percentage of the country’s population in order to identify those who are infected with the virus. To successfully push through with this process, local government units in different parts of the country have identified places that will be used as testing facilities
. These facilities will be home to equipment and technology that will help test out a large scale of people.
One of the places preparing for mass testing is Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma said that SBMA has partnered with the Philippine Red Cross to provide mass testing facilities
and services for the residents and surrounding communities in the area. The SBMA-PRC mass testing program will be open to the public, but suspect cases, probable cases, and frontliners will be prioritized.
Two buildings at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone main gate were retrofitted to house at least six telephone booth-type swabbing areas. These buildings are now 99% structurally finished, complete with additional air-conditioning. This is where health workers will take swab samples from patients. All collected samples will be taken to the Philippine Red Cross Molecular Laboratory which houses the equipment for testing. The Red Cross Testing Facility will be equipped with technology for fast testing. These equipment include 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.
Eisma mentioned that the SBMA is closely working on a scheme with the Philippine Red Cross so that the public can use the Red Cross hotline 1158 in scheduling appointments for testing. She also added that the mass testing program can help authorities in the Greater Subic Bay, Bataan, Olongapo, and Zambales areas get accurate data on the cases of COVID-19. This will make separation and isolation of COVID-19 positive patients easier.
Go to Yoorekka
for more COVID-19 updates in Subic.