Manila LGU offers free swab tests for certain workers in the city
Residents commute to work on bicycles in Manila on September 28, 2020. More commuters are taking to bicycles as a means to get to work amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in the Philippine capital, as few public transport including buses and jeepneys are allowed to ferry passengers as part of health protocols imposed by authorities.
AFP/AC Dimatatac
Manila LGU offers free swab tests for certain workers in the city
( - September 30, 2020 - 10:58am

MANILA, Philippines — Swab testing for COVID-19 will be free for certain workers in Manila City.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said Wednesday that the city government is offering free RT-PCR testing for employees of malls, hotels, restaurants and supermarkets; vendors in public markets; and drivers of e-trikes, pedicabs, tricycles, jeepneys and buses operating in the Philippine capital.

The Manila Public Information Office said Wednesday that Moreno issued Executive Order No. 39 directing the city’s health department to provide free swab tests to the workers after the Sta. Ana Hospital’s second molecular laboratory was launched on Tuesday.

The hospital’s new molecular laboratory can process about 1,000 swab tests a day, the Manila PIO said.

Moreno also said that the heads of the Manila Bureau of Permits and Licensing Office, the Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila and the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau are “further directed to require establishments under their jurisdiction to require filing up mandatory health declaration forms for contact tracing purposes.”

In an interview with CNN Philippines “New Day,” Moreno explained that as Manila continues to open up businesses, they wanted to give the public that they are interacting with healthy individuals.

“We have already tested, through RT-PCR, 27,280 persons as of yesterday. On mass testing through serology anti-body laboratory testing, we reached 71,258,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

He said those who want to be tested can go anytime to Sta. Ana Hospital, while city government officials will also go around to facilitate COVID-19 tests, such as in transportation loading and unloading stations, bus stations, or in malls.

Moreno also said that the free COVID-19 tests will be conducted daily.

He added that the city “finds it imperative to provide the employees of these establishments with free RT-PCR testing as the city’s proactive initiative in balancing health and economy for the general welfare of Manileños.”

Health authorities on Tuesday logged 2,025 new COVID-19 infections, pushing the national tally to 309,303. — Kristine Joy Patag

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