The Manila City government on Wednesday opened its own drive-thru coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) testing center in front of the Andres Bonifacio Monument in a bid to boost its mass testing efforts.
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said that both residents and non-residents of Manila can avail of the COVID-19 test for free.
They will be accommodated regardless of what vehicle they ride, he said.
“It will be made available to anybody, free of charge,” Domagoso told reporters. “We want to be inclusive with our approach… This is our little share in aligning ourselves, fighting together.”
The local chief executive encouraged everyone to get tested for COVID-19 to ease their “COVID-19” anxieties and get “peace of mind,” especially if they are experiencing minor symptoms.
Members of the Manila Health Department (MHD) will be stationed at the drive-thru testing center Mondays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to collect blood samples from those who wish to be tested.
The blood samples will then be processed by the city government’s three newly-purchased COVID-19 serology testing machines installed at Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, Ospital ng Sampaloc, and Ospital ng Maynila.
Earlier, Domagoso said they are planning to purchase a fourth machine that will be installed at Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital. All four machines have a combined capacity of 89,600 tests per month.
They also have an accuracy rate of 99.6 percent. However, those who test positive will still have to undergo confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.
Those who do not have their own vehicles but wish to avail of COVID-19 testing will be told to go directly to the hospitals where the serology testing machines are installed, or to other health centers near their residence.