Taguig opens second site for drive-thru testing in BGC

Published April 29, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Dhel Nazario

Designed for residents who own vehicles and are unable to get tested in other testing sites in Taguig City, a second site for drive-thru testing has been opened in the business district, Bonifacio Global City (BGC).

(Photo from Taguig PIO)
(Photo from Taguig PIO)

This came after the launch of its groundbreaking coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) drive-thru testing initiative at the Lakeshore Hall last week.

The testing facility in BGC is set up at the Northeast Parking Area in front of Kidzania, beside CitiBank and IBM One World Place. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, 10 individuals have been tested at the drive-thru testing area.

The approach is part of the city’s Systematic Mass Approach to Responsible Testing (SMART) program. Under Taguig City’s SMART initiative, residents who need to be tested have various options.

Under the drive-thru testing approach, citizens will have to follow a few steps.

Patients will call the COVID-19 hotline at 878-93200 or 0966-419-4510 where they will be assessed by the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CEDSU). Currently, Taguig City is finalizing self-assessment forms that can be filled up online.

They will receive a control number to be presented at the testing center. After this, patients may visit the drive-thru testing facility either in Lakeshore or BGC.

There, they will present a digital copy of the control number at the receiving booth. Once everything is done, they may proceed to the testing area to get tested after which they will receive an anti-COVID kit with a monitoring sheet.

CEDSU will contact the individual for results three to five days after testing.

The city said that in the event that a patient exhibits COVID-19 symptoms like fever, the individual would be instructed to go to the isolation area. An ambulance will be posted nearby in case hospitalization is required.

Taguig launched the drive-thru testing with barangay-based testing on April 22. The latter capacitates medical workers at Taguig’s 31 health centers and three “Super Health Centers” in conducting COVID-19 tests at the barangay-level.

“The new skill would enable our health centers and workers to respond to COVID-19 even beyond the enhanced community quarantine and for the long term, especially if the disease is later on declared as a notifiable disease,” said Mayor Lino Cayetano.

Various testing approach

Residents can choose barangay-based testing; a hatid-sundo program for persons who need to be tested in their communities and barangay health centers.

As of April 28, all 28 barangays with 31 health centers as testing facilities, have conducted barangay-based testing for COVID-19. A total 238 persons were tested for the first round of testing in barangays. Second round of testing began on Wednesday.

A testing team by CEDSU also visits the homes of individuals with cases of COVID-19 for proper testing.

Patients may also get tested in accredited testing facilities and laboratories in the city.

“SMART is a framework which ensures that everyone who needs to be tested will be tested,” said Cayetano. “We are making testing accessible to the most number of Taguigeños we possibly can. Testing is a very important part of a successful COVID-19 response. It saves lives.”

Taguig also partnered with the Department of Health, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, St. Luke’s Medical Center in BGC, and the Philippine Red Cross to ensure the samples can be tested faster for COVID-19.