Taguig City on Wednesday launched its first-ever drive-thru coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) testing center at the Bonifacio Global City (BGC).
The facility is located at the northeast parking area in front of Kidzania beside the buildings of CitiBank and IBM One World Place and is patterned after similar establishments in South Korea.
Mayor Lino Cayetano, in a media interview, said the drive-thru testing center is part of the city’s innovative Systematic Mass Approach to Responsible Testing (SMART).
“This is part of the SMART Testing framework of the city which ensures that everyone who needs to be tested will be tested,” he said.
Drive-thru testing center are set up at the BGC and Taguig Lakeshore in Barangay Lower Bicutan. The BGC testing center is open on Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. while the one in Taguig Lakeshore is open on Fridays at the same time.
“Our pilot areas are BGC and Lakeshore. Lower Bicutan is located at the border with Parañaque and Muntinlupa. BGC is at the border with Makati and Pasay. For now, we think those are enough. But we are ready to add facilities if needed,” he said in Filipino.
Under this initiative, Cayetano said Taguig residents wanting to avail of the drive-thru testing will have to do the following steps:
• Call the city’s Covid-19 hotline at 878-93200 or 0966-419-45-10 for assessment by the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CEDSU)
• Residents will then receive a control number which will be presented to the testing center
• Visit the drive-thru testing center (either BGC or Lakeshore)
• Present the digital copy of their control number to the receiving booth
• Proceed to the testing area for testing
• Receive anti-Covid kit with monitoring sheet
• CEDSU will contact the resident regarding their results within three to five days after testing.
If a patient exhibits signs and symptoms of Covid-19, the individual will be instructed to go into an isolation area.
An ambulance will be on hand in case hospitalization is needed.
As of posting, there were 10 suspected patients of Covid-19 who have undergone testing at the BGC.
He added that drive-thru testing is only one of the methods of the city in defeating Covid-19 as the local government is conducting through tracing and testing possible infected persons through house-to-house, and in public and private hospitals, and barangay health centers.
Since March, SMART has tested nearly 1,000 individuals through a Covid-19 on-call service, through which mobile teams of health workers would collect swabs from possible patients in the confines of their homes.
“We are making testing available to the most number of Taguigenos we possibly can. Testing is a very important part of a successful Covid-19 response. It saves lives,” Cayetano said.
In support of this measure, Taguig has partnered with the Department of Health, Research Institute of Tropical Medicine, St. Luke’s Medical Center at BGC, and the Philippine Red Cross to ensure that Covid-19 samples can be speedily tested.
As of Tuesday evening, Taguig had 228 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 1,287 suspect cases, 26 recoveries, and 15 deaths. (PNA)