As much as we’d love to stay within the safety of our homes, a lot of us have to step out because our responsibilities demand it. Some of us simply head out to replenish our essentials, while others have resumed working at their respective offices. Either way, being exposed to places outside our homes and people outside our families can definitely spark COVID-19 paranoia — because we can’t always be 100% certain that everyone is following proper protocols.
While panicking won’t help anyone, it does pay to be cautious. When we worry that we’ve contracted COVID-19 but aren’t showing symptoms, we put the lives of those we live with at risk of getting infected, too. This is where COVID-19 drive-through testing comes in: designed to minimise face-to-face contact, it provides a quick and efficient option for those who’d like to get tested. With drive-through testing facilities now being offered by various hospitals and city governments, COVID-19 testing is now more accessible to more Filipinos.
City governments offering drive-through testing
1. Manila City
Equipped with three Abbot serology testing machines, the Manila government will be able to test around 50 people every hour, totaling to about 16,800 people a week. Similar to rapid test kits, these will require blood sampling; however, confirmatory swab tests will still be necessary, according to public health protocols.
While healthcare workers will be prioritised, both residents and non-residents of Manila will be accommodated for free at the city’s drive-through testing facility. Those without their own vehicles, however, will be directed to nearby health centres that include Ospital ng Sampaloc and Ospital ng Maynila.
How to schedule an appointment: Walk-ins only.
Location: Near the Andres Bonifacio Shrine across Manila City Hall
Schedule: Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm
More info: Manila Public Information Office official Facebook page
2. Taguig City
The Taguig City government has made it easier for their residents to get tested for COVID-19. First and foremost, residents are encouraged to do a self-assessment with steps available on the city’s official website. If deemed necessary, they will be given a schedule for testing.
Those with their own vehicles may schedule an appointment at the appropriate drive-through testing centre (either in Bonifacio Global City or Lakeshore City); on the other hand, a hatid-sundo process has been put in place for those who won’t be able to drive themselves there. Testing will only take five minutes; results will be given to you via phone call after three to five days.
How to schedule an appointment: First, take a self-assessment test via Taguig City’s public information portal.
Location: Bonifacio Global City (Northeast parking area in front of Kidzania, beside CitiBank and IBM One World Place); Lakeshore City (Lakeshore Hall in Brgy. Lower Bicutan)
Schedule: Assigned by the city government
More info: Taguig City official Facebook page
PH hospitals with drive-through testing facilities
1. The Medical City (TMC)
While The Medical City also offers RT-PCR testing (also known as swab testing) for COVID-19, their drive-through testing facilities utilise the Enhanced Chemiluminescence Antibody (ECLIA) test. This form of rapid testing is fully automated and is the most reliable antibody test today, as certified by the Food and Drug Administration both in the Philippines and the US. The ECLIA test at TMC’S drive-through testing site is specifically designed for those who are asymptomatic but have reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19.
At the drive-through testing site, you need not exit your vehicle from start to finish. Prior to testing, everyone is screened at the entrance; those with a temperature above 37.6°C will not be allowed entry into the testing site. The ECLIA test will simply require taking a sample of your blood, which will then be sent to the lab for antibodies. Results will be emailed to you within 24 hours.
How to schedule an appointment: Pre-book your appointments on their website. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Location: Parking area at Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, beside The Medical City on Ortigas Ave.
Schedule: Monday to Sunday, 7am to 6pm
More information: The Medical City official website
2. Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center
Chinese General Hospital encourages testing for COVID-19 if you suspect you may be a carrier and are concerned about spreading the disease to others. Swab testing is available at their drive-through testing centre. You may pre-register for an appointment through their official website, though walk-ins are also accepted. Test results will be uploaded on their website for easier patient access.
How to schedule an appointment: Book an appointment on their website. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Location: Chinese General Hospital, Blumentritt Rd., Santa Cruz, Manila
Schedule: Monday to Sunday, 8am to 4pm
3. St. Luke’s
St. Luke’s Medical Center has recently opened their drive-through testing facilities in both their Quezon City and Bonifacio Global City hospitals. Testing is open specifically for asymptomatic patients. St. Luke’s uses the RT-PCR test, which has been described as the “gold standard” for detecting COVID-19.
How to schedule an appointment: Call the Product Information Center at least two days before your desired schedule.
Location: St. Luke’s Bonifacio Global City (5th Avenue cor. Rizal Drive); St. Luke’s Quezon City (In front of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Extension)
Schedule: Monday to Sunday, 7am to 5pm (BGC); Monday to Sunday, 2pm to 6pm (QC)
More information: St. Luke’s official Facebook page
4. Cardinal Santos Medical Center
Those who live and work in or around San Juan may schedule a drive-through testing appointment at Cardinal Medical Center. Here, patients undergo RT-PCR testing and results are released via their website. Take note that scheduling an appointment in advance is required, and only cashless payments are accepted.
How to schedule an appointment: Book your appointment on their official website. Appointments are required.
Location: Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Wilson, Greenhills West, San Juan (MAB2 entrance beside MedExpress)
Schedule: Monday to Sunday, 6.30am to 10am
More information: Cardinal Santos Medical Center official Facebook page
Have you tried out any of these drive-through testing facilities? Let us know about your experience!