Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is donating five sets of testing machines and test kits to critical government centers in the country to help combat the viral illness.
SMC said the RT-PCR machines and high-throughput automated RNA extraction systems, which arrived yesterday via a chartered flight, would be distributed by the Department of Health to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
The other machines will be delivered to San Lazaro Hospital, Vicente Sotto Medical Center in Cebu and Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao.
These machines will allow government to boost national testing by 11,000 tests per day and allow beneficiary laboratories to test faster, using less time and human intervention.
The testing kits will also allow the DOH to conduct additional 20,000 tests.
“We are one with the government in wanting to curb the spread of the virus, and with enough capacity to test a greater number of people, we are optimistic we will be able to gradually and safely restart the economy,” SMC president and COO Ramon S. Ang said
The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier called for mass testing for countries wanting to ease restrictions and reopen their economies.
The company has began preparations for a gradual back-to-work scenario with a wide-ranging plan that includes, among others, testing for its over 30,000 front liners within the organization along with strict regulations on good hygiene, social distancing, mass gatherings.
“We are committed to getting the economy back and running without risking a second wave of COVID-19 cases,”Ang said.
As one of the country’s biggest diversified conglomerates, most of SMC’s facilities have remained open throughout the quarantine period, to make sure that essential goods and services are available.
SMC to date has already donated P1.147 billion worth of food products, ethyl alcohol, fuel, protective gear, free toll among others, to front liners and hardest hit communities in Luzon and other provinces nationwide.