Nearly 1,500 undergo free swab tests

CLOSE to 1,500 persons have availed themselves of the free drive-through and walk-through swab testing for Covid-19 at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

Rey Cris Panugaling, head of the VSMMC Information, Communications, and Strategy Management, said Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, that swab specimens from a total of 1,482 persons have been collected since the facility started operations on July 24.

Of the total, 356 people drove through and got swabbed while 229 were walk-through clients from July 27 to Aug. 5.

These figures do not include the 99 persons who were swabbed on the first day of the facility’s operations on July 24.

Panugaling said they have not determined whether these 99 individuals availed themselves of the service via drive-through or walk-through.

There were also 798 healthcare workers who have benefited from the walk-through swab test.

“We have a program that all our HCWs are swabbed on a given schedule (as) part of expanded testing,” Panugaling said.

He was referring to the expanded testing guidelines specified in Department of Health (DOH) Memorandum 2020-0258-A.

He said a total of 3,368 people who wish to avail themselves of the free test have registered.

But not all have been able to follow their assigned schedule.

Aside from healthcare workers, the expanded testing program also covers individuals manifesting Covid-19 symptoms and suspect cases as well as individuals with travel history and exposure, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic.

Also covered are frontliners indirectly involved in healthcare provision in the response against Covid-19 and vulnerable patients such as those with comorbidities, those who will undergo high-risk, elective surgical procedures, and those living in confined spaces.

Panugaling said the facility is now able to serve 20 people per hour via drive-through and another 30 people via walk-through.

The facility is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Swab specimens are subjected to reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test to detect the Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The VSMMC drive-through and walk-through swabbing site is the first of its kind outside Metro Manila. (HBL)


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