Rice research institute pitches in covid-19 response

National, News

As the country starts massive testing to detect coronavirus disease cases, Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) loaned few of its laboratory equipment to a major screening center, and continues to send out donations to its nearby communities.

Dr. Roel R. Suralta, head of DA-Crop Biotech Center based at PhilRice, said real time qRT-PCRs (quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) were provided to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) of the Department of Health.

Recognized as one of the most accurate ways to detect, tract, and study coronavirus by International Atomic Energy Agency and the Food and Agriculture Organization, real time RT-PCRs can deliver reliable diagnosis in three hours.

“Critical devices needed in processing swab samples such as plates, microfuge tube, and sealing films were also given to RITM,” he said.

About 2,000 kg of rice were also distributed to affected families in Brgy, Maligaya, where the central experiment station is located, and to medical frontliners.

Moreover, PhilRice chemists and experts produced 70% isopropyl alcohol using available resources from the Institute, and distributed the hygiene material including hand sanitizers and surgical and N95 masks to its nearby communities and to the medical frontliners.

In addition, the Institute partnered with barangay officials and other private individuals to help eight construction workers mostly from Visayas and Mindanao who were stranded at PhilRice due to Luzon lockdown.

As of April 15, more than 5,200 covid-19 cases are reported in the country. Central Luzon recorded 275 confirmed cases, 12 recoveries, and 25 deaths. (PhilRice)

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