Mon. Jul 26th, 2021

MANILA – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. received on Tuesday a total of 3,000 test kits for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and a thermal cycler from the Singaporean government.

“I received this afternoon a donation from the Singapore government of 3,000 Covid-19 diagnostic test kits and one polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine,” he said.

A PCR is used to make millions of copies of a target piece of DNA. It is an indispensable tool in modern molecular biology and has transformed scientific research and diagnostic medicine.

The equipment was personally handed to Locsin by Singaporean Ambassador to Manila Gerard Ho Wei Hong.

In a tweet, Locsin thanked the Singapore government.

The donation is among the assistance pouring in from the Philippines’ foreign partners as it addresses the rapid increase in Covid-19 cases in the country.

Last week, China donated a total of 100,000 Covid-19 test kits and essential medical supplies.

The US government also allocated over PHP139 million to assist the Department of Health (DOH) in its infectious disease threat prevention and response.

In a tweet, Locsin said “someone is willing to donate refrigeration facilities”.

“I have good news. DOH told me the process of accrediting the big hospitals and labs with secure facilities to contain virus will be complete this Friday. They’ll be doing testing. Also, China shipments (are) farmed out. I referred someone willing to donate refrigeration facilities,” he wrote.

Present during the turnover ceremony were Health Undersecretary Mario Villaverde and Deputy Chief of Mission Zhou Suli.

On Monday, the two nations inked the Deed of Donation for the Covid-19 test kits and one PCR machine at the Philippine Embassy in Singapore.

Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General Constance See signed the Deed for Singapore while Philippine Ambassador Joseph del Mar Yap signed on behalf of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. (ia/

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