After its two successful coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) drive-thru testing centers, the city government of Manila launched Monday its first walk-in testing center, specifically designed for those who do not have vehicles.
Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said during a press briefing with Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roques that the Covid-19 walk-in testing center is located outside the Ospital ng Sampaloc.
“Kung me drive-thru tayo, inilunsad din naming yung walk-in, adjacent to the hospital para hindi na nila kailangan pumasok sa loob ng ospital at kabahan (If we have the drive-thru, we also launched the walk-in testing center, adjacent to the hospital so people do not have to enter the hospital and be worried),” he said.
Domagoso said they intentionally placed the walk-in testing center outside the hospital so that those who want to have themselves tested for the Covid-19 need not enter the hospital where Covid-positive patients are being taken care of.
“Ito ay para mailayo sila sa exposure (This is to keep them from exposure), instead of doing it inside the hospital, we created like a drive-thru concept adjacent to the hospital,” Domagoso said.
The walk-in testing center, just like the drive-thru, is also open for Manila and non-Manila residents, Mondays to Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., free of charge.
Domagoso said the new testing site is capable of processing 150 tests per day.
The drive-thru testing center in Lawton can currently accommodate about 200 tests per day, and the new site at Quirino Grandstand which had a soft launching last Saturday can accommodate up to 700 per day.
As the city strives to increase its testing capacity, Domagoso said more walk-in testing centers will soon open in the vicinity of Manila’s public hospitals like Ospital ng Maynila, Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, Ospital ng Tondo and Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital.
Another quarantine facility is also being eyed in Quiapo.
Currently, the city government has 12 quarantine facilities with 545-bed capacity, while hospital bed capacity for Covid-19 patients is at 171.
Manila has already conducted 1,576 tests at the two drive-thru centers, 528 of those who availed of the free testing are non-Manilenyos and 1,048 are Manilenyos.
Results from the drive-thru testing centers yielded 1,326 negative and 174 positive test results.
Call for donations
Meanwhile, Domagoso appealed for donations so that the city government will be able to continue and sustain the city’s free Covid-19 walk-in and drive-thru testing centers.
He said the donations will be used to buy more reagents which are needed to test more blood samples taken from patients.
Domagoso said the city will try to extend the free services even for non-Manilenyos, as part of its inclusive approach in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
“Why not share it with others because this is a universal problem and we cannot just take care of ourselves and leave our neighbors behind, hangga’t meron tayong kakayanan, although hikahos kami, pero hanggang merong pwedeng (While we have the capacity to help, although we are also in a difficult situation) i-share natin with our neighbors.’ Domagoso said. (PNA)