ICTSI and Bloomberry Resort Corp’s (BCR) Solaire Resort and Casino partnered with the Tropical Disease Foundation (TDF) and Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (AC Health) to screen employees working from home and those at the frontlines.
A two-pronged strategy proposed by health experts is being adopted. First, rapid testing is conducted through test kits that measure antibodies from a blood sample in 10-15 minutes. Rapid testing works on the premise that antibodies can potentially be markers of past and active infections.
In conjunction with required confirmatory testing, a second test uses traditional kits, processed through a real-time polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR machine, and can detect the presence of the actual coronavirus within days, and deemed more accurate.
Trained TDF and AC Health health professionals supervise the entire testing process to ensure samples are processed properly and results interpreted correctly.
As part of efforts to ramp up local testing capability, TDF is working with the Department of Health (DOH) and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine to fast track validation and approval of its required laboratory certification to conduct coronavirus tests.
As soon as it receives the required accreditation, a memorandum of agreement will be signed between TDF, AC Health, and Bloomberry Cultural Foundation, Inc. (BCFI), BRC’s social responsibility arm, to process confirmatory tests at TDF’s facility.
“Our employees are our number one asset. As we try to overcome this most difficult phase and into the ‘new normal’, we do so without letting our guard down,” Enrique K. Razon, Jr., chairman of both ICTSI and BRC, said in a statement.
“Consistent with our aim of helping the country’s health infrastructure in tackling the extent of the pandemic, our decision to invest in mass testing will give us, our employees, and their loved ones the reassurance that they will have a safe working environment, which ICTSI and Solaire are well-known for,” he added.
BCFI recently procured 100,000 test kits from China and South Korea approved by the Food and Drug Administration to augment government supply. The foundation likewise donated P60 million worth of personal protective equipment and N95 masks to DOH, which were distributed to hospitals and medical front liners across the country.
Further, ICTSI, Solaire Resort & Casino, and other subsidiaries within the Razon Group continue to extend support to employees by complying with stringent safety and precautionary protocols, and provide salaries and benefits for employees reporting onsite and those working from home.
ICTSI earlier said its terminals, both individually and collectively, have contributed about P350 million to national and local government agencies, immediate communities, employees, and port stakeholders to help in the fight against COVID-19.
Also across its portfolio, ICTSI has continuously donated personal protective equipment, ventilators and test kits to private and government healthcare facilities, disinfectants to healthcare workers, and food and other critical supplies to truckers, other stakeholders, and vulnerable communities.
In addition, the Razon group retrofitted the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, Rizal Stadium and Philippine General Hospital to become COVID-19 treatment facilities.
Photo courtesy of ICTSI