(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Friday, 24 September 2021) Easterlies affecting Luzon. Localized thunderstorms affecting Mindanao. ACTIVE TROPICAL CYCLONE OUTSIDE PAR AS OF 3:00 AM TODAY TROPICAL STORM MINDULLE (2116) LOCATION: 1,890 KM EAST OF SOUTHERN LUZON (14.2°N, 141.7°E) MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS: 85 KM/H GUSTINESS: UP TO 105 KM/H MOVEMENT: WEST NORTHWEST AT 20 KM/H Caraga Region will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Localized thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides due to severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from Northeast to Northwest will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas/(0.6 to 2.1 meters).



Monday, September 6, 2021

US donates RT-PCR extraction kits to PH Genome Center

BUTUAN CITY -- The United States (US) government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), turned over reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) extraction kits equivalent to 3,000 tests to the Philippine Genome Center.  

These RT-PCR extraction kits will help strengthen coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) testing and genomic surveillance in the country.  

USAID Philippines Office of Health Director Michelle Lang-Alli handed over the extraction kits at a virtual event with the Department of Health Undersecretaries Maria Rosario Vergeire and Myrna Cabotaje, Philippine Genome Center Executive Director Dr. Cynthia Saloma, and other representatives from the government and private sector.  

“We hope that these kits will continue to strengthen testing and genomic surveillance capability of the Philippine Genome Center as we work together to stop the spread of COVID-19. These kits will support the tracking of variants, which is key to curbing the spread and being in front of the virus as the pandemic continues to evolve,” said Director Lang-Alli.  

The US government, through USAID, Department of Defense, and the Department of State, has invested nearly P1.4 billion to support the Philippines’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

US government assistance has helped the country to implement internationally-recognized infection prevention and control strategies; strengthen laboratory systems; build capacity of frontline health workers to prevent, detect, trace, isolate, treat and manage COVID cases; communicate effectively about health risks; and roll out vaccines.    

The US government has also contributed P100 billion pesos ($2 billion) to GAVI, the largest monetary contribution to this global alliance tasked with increasing vaccine access to countries throughout the world.  

To date, the Philippines has received more than 13.3 million doses of vaccines from the COVAX facility, with more than 6.2 million of those vaccines donated by the American people.  In fact, one in five Filipinos will receive life-saving vaccines through the COVAX facility.  

This year, the United States and the Philippines are celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations and 60 years of partnership for development through USAID.  

Through USAID, the US government is the biggest bilateral donor to the Philippines’ health sector, providing more than P29 billion ($582 million) over the past 20 years. (U.S. Embassy in the Philippines/PIA-Caraga)