Taguig rolls out drive-thru COVID-19 testing

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 22) — The city government of Taguig is set to launch drive-thru testing — boosting its efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.

Taguig residents who are possible COVID-19 patients will be asked to fill out an online assessment form. If health professionals find that they need to be tested, they will be given a number, which they will use for the drive-thru testing.

"Importante ho, hindi lang isang grupo o isang sektor ang may access sa testing... So nakita namin, solusyon namin, para du'n sa may kakayahan na mag-fill up ng form online, at may kakayahan magmaneho o magdala ng sasakyan," Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano said Wednesday.

[Translation: What's important is that not only one group or sector has access to testing... So our solution — it's for those who have the resources to accomplish an online form, and have the ability to drive or bring a car.]

The new service will be available in two temporary facilities located in Bonifacio Global City in Barangay Fort Bonifacio, and in Lakeshore Tent in Barangay Lower Bicutan.

Taguig City said the sites will only be open for about two hours a day — as "it is hot outside, and [health] frontliners are [wearing] complete personal protective equipment [coveralls]."

The city government said it is planning to begin the drive-thru testing this coming weekend.

It will also train its personnel in its 31 health centers and three "super health centers" to conduct barangay-based COVID-19 testing.

With its new initiatives under its Systematic Mass Approach to Responsible Testing (SMART), testing in the city will now include COVID-19 patients undergoing recovery; individuals exhibiting flu-like symptoms; persons who may have interacted with COVID-19 patients; frontliners; and the vulnerable demographics, which include pregnant women, elderly individuals, and persons with co-morbidities.

The Taguig City government has recently inked new laboratory partnership deals with St. Luke's Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City and the Philippine Red Cross — an addition to its existing agreements with the Department of Health and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine — to further expand its testing capacity.

It has already tested nearly 1,000 people since the beginning of March. City officials said it is targeting to test some 10,000 to 15,000 out of its one million residents.

CNN Philippines' AC Nicholls contributed to this report.