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How to Encourage COVID-19 Testing? Make it Free, Easy

Here's how you can relieve virus anxiety.
by Joel Guinto
Jul 20, 2020
Photo/s: Manila PIO Facebook
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Free, accessible and open to everyone, the city of Manila's drive-thru COVID-19 testing was recently expanded to two sites and a walk-in version was opened on Monday, Mayor Isko Moreno said. 

As the number of COVID-19 testing sites continued to grow, the Department of Health on Sunday certified as "ready for commercial use" the first Filipino-made kits that detect the presence of the virus. This means that four months into the quarantine, at a time when cases are spiking due to the unwidning of restrictions, there will be access to a locally-made RT-PCR kit. 

"Nakikita mo ang eagerness ng tao na mag-volunteer to have himself or herself tested," Moreno said in an interview posted on the city information office's Facebook page. Testing gives peace of mind, and for some raring to return to work, a chance to fulfill testing requirements for free, he said.

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Manila offers rapid tests, wherein blood samples are taken to determine whether or not the person developed antibodies against COVID-19. This doesn't say for certain if a person has the virus. A RT-PCR test will confirm this, by taking samples from the nose and throat using a cotton swab, hence the common name, swab test.

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The second drive-thru testing center in Manila opened last Friday. Together with the first facility in Lawton, the city can process up to 900 tests daily with results available in 24 hours, he said.

"It's free for everyone, Manilans, non-Manilans. We wanted to create a program that is inclusive, boundless and universal," he said.

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