MANILA, Philippines — Friday, July 3, SMC launched the testing facility dubbed as “Better World Edsa” aimed to unburden the health sector and help ensure a safe return-to-work strategy in the coming months.
Equipped with automated reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR machines and fully automated nucleic acid extraction systems or NATCH testing laboratories, the facility has a capacity of processing 4,000 tests per day, expandable to 12,000. This is seen to aid in the government’s bid to reach a testing capacity of 50,000 tests per day.
“A set is comprised of two PCR machines and one NATCH. This makes the facility one of the most advanced private testing laboratories in the country.”san miguel corp.
National Action Plan National Action Plan Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer and Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. expressed their gratitude over San Miguel Corporation’s COVID-19 testing laboratory.
“On behalf of the Philippine government, I would like to thank San Miguel Corporation for helping the government in ramping up testing laboratories in the country,”CARLITO G. GALVEZ JR., National Action Plan Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer
SMC President and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Ramon S. Ang said the facility will cater to residents in Metro Manila, aside from employees of the conglomerate. According to SMC CEO Ramon Ang, they have included the testing laboratory as part of their business continuity plan. “We procured the machines, and had personnel undergo training for its full-scale operations,” Ang said. Among the personnel running the facility are molecular pathologists, medical technicians, data managers, and lab aides.
As the country shifts into general community quarantine, SMC aims to bring back 50% of its workforce in the coming weeks. The company had already commenced testing its employees, prioritizing those in its food manufacturing facilities, to further stabilize the country’s food supply in the coming months.
“With this facility, we are taking responsibility for testing our own employees and unburdening our health system. It also helps make our operations more resilient to disruptions brought about by the virus. Lesser disruptions on our operations will allow us to better contribute to the immediate recovery of the economy,”RAMON ANG, CEO SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION
In line with this, SMC has donated swab booths as well as PCR testing kits equivalent to 34,000 tests to 17 Metro Manila LGUs, according to msn.com.
According to the website, the company also provided three sets of RT-PCR testing machines and RNA machines to key government hospitals aside from the five sets of the same machines donated to the Department of Health, which also received testing kits equivalent to 20,000 tests.
It also donated 55 sets of high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) machines for the use of severely-ill Covid-19 patients to the government and 10 quarantine facilities each with a 15-bed capacity beside military camp hospitals nationwide.
Ang stressed on the role of private sectors and their role in the battle against the pandemic saying that companies should help the government with testing and reduce reliance on the already burdened system.
“It’s our contribution to the government’s effort to continuously test and trace COVID-19 transmission and contain it, as well as enable early intervention or treatment to save lives”