Taguig kicks off drive-through testing in Bonifacio Global City

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 29) — The city government of Taguig has opened its doors to a second drive-through COVID-19 testing facility in its business district.

But Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano on Wednesday clarified that the drive-through testing will not be available to all residents.

"'Yung mga nasa suspect list ng aming city epidemiology and surveillance unit, sila ho 'yung tinatawagan namin, at nag-seset kami ng appointment," Cayetano pointed out.

[Translation: We are only reaching out to — and setting an appointment with — those who are included in the suspect list of our city epidemiology and surveillance unit.]

He stressed that only a small percentage of the city population will be tested in the meantime.

"Ang i-tetest lang natin, base sa best practice, it only ranges from one to three percent of the population," Cayetano said.

[Translation: We will only test about one to three percent of the population, based on best practice.]

Taguig citizens who are possibly infected will have to call the designated COVID-19 hotline for an initial consultation with the medical professionals of the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CEDSU). The online assessment system is yet to be fixed, according to the city government.

If the local health workers come to a conclusion that they have to be tested, they will be provided with a control number, which they will use for the drive-thru testing. Results will be released within three to five days.

The city's testing capabilities will be adjusted once employees from other cities report back to work, the local administration added.

The new testing area is located at the Northeast Parking Area in Bonifacio Global City, Barangay Fort Bonifacio.

Taguig City launched its drive-thru testing initiative in another facility in Lakeshore Hall in Barangay Lower Bicutan on April 22. It also rolled out its barangay-based testing in 31 health centers and three "super health centers" on the same day.

Earlier, Taguig City said its testing centers will only be open for about two hours a day. The facility in BGC will be accessible on Wednesdays, while the one in LakeShore Hall will be open on Fridays. Both drive-through testing sites are using the World Health Organization and Department of Health-approved polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, it said.

Taguig City has existing laboratory partnership agreements with St. Luke's Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City, the Philippine Red Cross, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, and the Department of Health.

CNN Philippines' Paolo Barcelon contributed to this report.