Considered the gold standard in the accurate diagnosis of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction or the RT-PCR test is now available to residents in the Subic Bay Freeport area and neighboring communities.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the public may now avail of RT-PCR testing here even as employees of the Subic agency undergo testing on a staggered schedule.
“We are now close to completing the testing of SBMA frontline workers, and so we are calling on business locators and other stakeholders in Subic to get their frontliners tested, too, and for residents from nearby areas to also avail of RT-PCR for their peace of mind now that testing is conveniently available here in Subic,” Eisma said.
“The 3T’s — testing, tracing, and treating — is still the best way to beat COVID-19 and to keep our community safe and conducive to business,” she added.
The testing center, which was established jointly by the SBMA and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), is located at the former Wimpy’s Restaurant near the Freeport main gate and is manned by technicians trained on taking swab samples.
Under the RT-PCR test, actual swabs from the nose or throat of patients are used to determine the actual presence of the coronavirus and if a person is currently infected.
The swab samples are then forwarded for analysis at the Red Cross molecular laboratory in Subic’s Naval Magazine area, which is capable of doing 2,000 tests daily.
Eisma said that to avail of the test, interested parties may register via email at email@example.com and pay a testing fee of P4,000 through any of the following bank accounts: Philippine Red Cross, Account No. 151-7-151524342 at Metrobank (Port Area Manila Branch), or Philippine Red Cross, Account No. 00-453-0190938 at Banco de Oro (Port Area Manila Branch).
Following verification of payment, the confirmed testing schedule will be emailed to the applicants who should report at the SBMA-PRC Swabbing Facility on the scheduled testing date.
Eisma said that results of the RT-PCR COVID-19 test will be available in four days.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Red Cross announced on Sunday the launching of a COVID Samaritan program to ensure that poor people who could not afford the COVID-19 testing fees could get tested.
Senator Richard J. Gordon, PRC chairman and CEO, reiterated the need to ramp up testing to ensure victory over COVID-19 and added that the COVID Samaritan program would help those who could not afford the testing fee with funds donated for the program.
“We need to test people so we can win the fight against COVID. This way, carriers can be separated from those who are not infected and they can be cured. And they can return to work once cleared by the test. That’s why we started this program so we can provide tests even for those who have no means to get once,” he said.
Gordon disclosed that the Automobile Association of the Philippines has donated €50,000 or almost P2.8-million for the COVID Samaritan program.