Gordon reiterates need for testing amid WHO warning

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Amid the pronouncement Wednesday of an official of the World Health Organization (WHO) that the novel coronavirus which causes the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID 19 could become endemic like the human immune-deficiency (HIV) virus, Senator Richard J. Gordon reiterated the need for testing.

Gordon, chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross, said that until a vaccine becomes available, unmasking the virus thru testing would help control, if not prevent, the further spread of the disease, which could be fatal for people who are immune-compromised or have underlying health conditions, among other aggravating factors.

“As the WHO official said, this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away, so we have to have very significant control of the virus. Kaya kailangan na we unmask the virus so that we can isolate and conduct contact-tracing to be able to control its spread,” he said.

When the pandemic first hit the country, the PRC head already stressed the importance of exposing the unseen enemy. To achieve this, the PRC opened two testing centers that are both equipped with polymerase chain reaction machines that can run up to a total of 8,000 tests a day. The PRC’s testing capacity would expand to 20,000, with the opening of another testing center in Port Area, Manila this week and four others in Subic, Clark, Batangas and Los Banos in the next few weeks.

The facilities are picking up speed as more samples are brought in. A total of 4,200 tests were conducted last Tuesday and 4,135 as of 11 pm on Wednesday.

“Kung maraming magpapa-test, mahihiwalay ‘yung mga positive at malalagay sila sa mga ospital o sa mga quarantine centers. Makakapagsagawa din tayo ng contact tracing para mapigilan ang lalong pagkalat ng sakit na ito. Our aim is to ensure victory over the virus,” Gordon stressed. (Office of Senator Richard Gordon)

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