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Red Cross charters flight to China to get 450,000 COVID-19 testing kits

Red Cross charters flight to China to get 450,000 COVID-19 testing kits

MANILA, Philippines — A plane chartered by the Philippine Red Cross will fly to China on Thursday, Oct. 29, to fetch 450,000 COVID-19 testing kits, Sen. Richard Gordon, who is the organization’s chairman, said Tuesday night.

“We had written another letter so that the plane would now take off on Thursday to China,” Gordon said in an online press conference shortly after the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) settled half of its over P1-billion debt to the Red Cross.

The chartered flight and the testing kits will cost $6 million, according to Gordon.

The flight was supposed to leave for China on Tuesday, but the Red Cross had to cancel it because PhilHealth had not paid its remaining balance.

The Red Cross did not have money then to pay for the flight and the testing kits, Gordon explained.

The rescheduled flight will return to the Philippines also on Thursday.

“We still have the inventory. I play safe… I think we will have enough [test kits] for the rest of the week, until Sunday. When the ones we’re getting [from China] arrive, then we’ll be confident,” the senator added, speaking partly in Filipino.

Gordon said the Red Cross would for the government after PhilHealth paid it P500 million.

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