The group of tycoon Lucio Tan is donating a bio-molecular laboratory to the Philippine Red Cross with its own automated ribonucleic acid (RNA) extraction and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines in Batangas City to boost the country’s defenses against the coronavirus (COVID-19).
LT Group president and chief operating officer (COO) Michael Tan said on Saturday that aside from augmenting the country’s COVID-19 testing capacity with 4,000 tests daily, the upcoming lab aims to quickly identify, isolate and treat COVID-19-positive patients.
To be completed within a month, the new lab is expected to complement the testing operations of Red Cross at its Mandaluyong headquarters and another one scheduled to operate soon in Manila’s Port Area.
With a floor area of 120 square meters, the P15-million fully-equipped lab will be set up inside PRC’s former blood center in Batangas City. It will be open to the public and will be manned by trained medical technologists.
In addition to COVID-19 testing, the lab’s PCR machine is capable of detecting other diseases like tuberculosis, cancer, HIV, dengue, malaria, hepatitis and Zika, among others.
PRC chair and Senator Richard Gordon recognized the urgent need for more bio-molecular laboratories and testing centers in the country to help beat the COVID-19 pandemic.
LT Group’s donation is part of its group-wide response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which also includes providing supplies to medical workers, beefing up hospitals, and providing food and water to frontliners manning different borders.
Through various charities like “Help Flows”, the group has so far donated 40 ventilators, five PCR machines, two ambulance units and one X-ray machine to different public hospitals in the country.
It also provided over 500,000 pieces of personal protective equipment, 500,000 liters of ethyl alcohol, 101 thermal thermometers, four thermal scanners, and more than 150,000 liters of drinking water plus food packs for medical and security frontliners.
“Help Flows” is supported by LT Group member firms Asia Brewery, Inc., Eton Properties Philippines, Inc., PMFTC Inc.’s Embrace CSR program, Tanduay Distillers, Inc., Philippine National Bank and sister company Philippine Airlines.
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