The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on Monday (October 18th) welcomed the findings of the investigation by the Tropical Medicine Research Institute (RITM) on the laboratory results of its molecular laboratory in Subic.
“The PRC is grateful to RITM for its impartial investigation into the matter,” the humanitarian organization said in a statement.
Last month, the Lower House questioned the 45 false positive results from 48 RT-PCR swab tests administered in September 2020 at Subic Baypointe Hospital and tested at the Subic PRC Molecular Laboratory.
The RITM, which reports to the Department of Health (DOH) – which oversees all molecular labs – was later tasked with investigating the incident.
On October 13, the RITM concluded its investigation and reported the results to the PRC. In his letter, it was stated that he “found no evidence of contamination for the forty-eight (48) cases tested by the PRC Subic laboratory and that the results were found to be valid and reliable”.
JUSTIN: @philredcross welcomes the conclusions of the investigation carried out by the Institute for Research in Tropical Medicine (RITM) on the laboratory results of its molecular laboratory in Subic. @manilabulletin (PH Red Cross) pic.twitter.com/BQTcDqJUEU
– Merlina Hernando-Malipot (@MB_InaHernando) October 18, 2021
“Victim” of unfounded allegations
Shortly after the allegations erupted, the PRC immediately issued a statement that testing methodology and procedures were standardized across all of its laboratories, which received a 100% rating when tested for RITM competence.
The PRC also revealed that it immediately performed test reruns at its own expense due to the unusually high positive results; although the output remained the same.
He further stated that the timing of testing against exposure is a factor that may produce different results; thus, âre-tests performed in a different laboratory on samples taken three days after the first test could very well produce negative results since clients could already be negative by the time the second samples were takenâ.
In recent months, the PRC has declared itself “the victim of unfounded allegations”.
This, he added, is due to overwhelming evidence against parties involved in awarding more than 8.7 billion pesos in contracts for overpriced medical supplies to an under-capitalized company under Bayanihan to Heal Law.
Senator Richard Gordon led the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee investigation as chairman.
Gordon is also the CEO of the PRC, under whose leadership the humanitarian organization has undergone an intensive modernization program.
Despite the allegations, the PRC said it continues to fully support the screening and vaccination program as it is an auxiliary to the government.
The PRC noted that at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 – when the RITM could only perform 300 tests per day – PhilHealth approached the PRC to establish molecular laboratories to meet the need for further testing.
Currently, the PRC has 14 molecular laboratories nationwide. It is capable of performing up to 48,000 tests per day.
Laboratories in the PRC account for more than 21 percent of all tests performed in the country. To date, it has performed over 4.6 million tests nationwide.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE DAILY NEWSLETTER
CLICK HERE TO JOIN