Australia provides support to Philippine Red Cross molecular laboratory for COVID-19 testing
Australia is providing support to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to set up and operate a laboratory to increase capacity for COVID-19 testing in Metro Manila.
The molecular laboratory is part of a AUD 4.1 million (PHP 143.5 million) COVID-19 response package that Australia has provided to PRC. The package has also funded a specialised ambulance for transporting highly infectious COVID-19 patients, one million face masks and 20,000 pieces of personal protective equipment for frontline workers.
Australian Ambassador Steven J. Robinson AO joined Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Deputy Chief Implementer of IATF Secretary Vivencio Dizon, and PRC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Senator Richard Gordon at the launch of the laboratory.
“As a good friend and neighbour, Australia stands as one with the Philippines to meet this unprecedented challenge. We are working together to support the response to the pandemic – either by supporting health needs, working on economic recovery and promoting stability,” Ambassador Robinson said.
“This laboratory, which has a capacity to test 12,000 samples per day, is a significant contribution towards achieving the country’s expanded targeted testing of 30,000 per day.”
“This is truly an exercise in bayanihan between Australia, the PRC, Metro Manila local government units, and private foundations Metrobank Foundation and the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry,” the Ambassador said.
Australia is also working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to support both community healthcare and the economic recovery of those affected in Mindanao. It is also working with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to respond to the needs of women and girls including pregnant mothers, by providing health kits and triage facilities at three hospitals in Metro Manila.