Manila sets up 2nd drive-thru COVID-19 test site due to high demand
MANILA, Philippines — The Manila City government opened on Saturday a second drive-through testing area for the coronavirus, citing a growing demand for the service amid the continuing rise of new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country.
The new testing site was set up near Quirino Grandstand, days after the launch of the first site at Plaza Lawton near City Hall.
A total of 700 people could be accommodated in the new testing site in a day, while the first testing site at Lawton, near the Andres Bonifacio Monument, could test 200 individuals per day.
The operation of the first testing site, which was nearer City Hall, resulted in a traffic jam due to the long queue of motorists who wanted to be tested, along with their family members.
Both testing sites will be open Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
At the Quirino site, there are designated lanes for four-wheel and three-wheel vehicles, as well as for bicycles and motorcycles.
For nonresidents, too
As of press time, a total of 445 people have been tested at Quirino, most of them saying they went there for their peace of mind while the others cited work and travel requirements.
“Family members are submitting themselves to testing. You can see their eagerness,” Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said on Saturday at a press briefing.
The local government project is open to all, including non-Manila residents, free of charge. Persons who wish tested only need to present a valid ID.
Health workers extract blood samples, which will then be examined using newly purchased serology machines at the three city hospitals—Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, Ospital ng Sampaloc and Ospital ng Maynila.
The serology machine detects the presence of the IgG antibody for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
In 24 hours, the person who was tested will be notified of the result via text message. Those who tested positive will be subjected to swab testing.
For Manila residents, a hard copy of negative result — sealed in an envelope to ensure privacy — will be delivered in their homes.
For nonresidents, they may pick up their copy of the negative results on a designated lane at the grandstand.
—Nikka G. Valenzuela
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