Queues form at swab testing centers in Metro Manila

Published January 5, 2022 10:49pm

People trooped to swab testing centers in Metro Manila amid the recent spike in COVID-19 infections in the country.

According to Oscar Oida’s “24 Oras” report on Wednesday, vehicles filled the parking spaces of a drive-thru swab testing center in Kamuning, Quezon City.

Noy, a medical technologist who works in the swab testing center, said people started to line up at around 6 a.m.

He said they provide customers with number forms and advise them to be back at around 30 minutes to one hour in order to avoid blocking the street.

The swab testing center management said the people started to flock last December 31, adding that it also increased the number of COVID-19 cases.

“Initially, less than 10, mga last week ng December 10 tapos biglang naging 100 and then 200, and then ganun po kabilis mag-multiply,” Ina Soriano, managing director of Drive to Swab, said.

(Initially, there were fewer than 10 who tested positive in the last week of December 10. Then suddenly it became 100 and then 200, and then it quickly multiplied.)

Swab testing centers in Scout Tuazon, Quezon City and Philippine Red Cross (PRC) in Mandaluyong were also filled with long queues of people.

“Nagbakasyon lang po kasi ako. Pagbalik ko rito, yan ang requirement sa opisina namin. Para po sa trabaho namin, hindi kami pwedeng makapasok pagwala kaming result sa antigen. Mahirap lalo na ngayon, wala kaming pera tapos sarili pa naming pera,” a worker who lined up to get tested said.

(I just went on vacation but when I come back here, it is now a requirement in our office. We need to get tested before we come back to work. It is really difficult now because we don’t have money and we are paying for the tests with our own money.)

The government reminded the public that local government units were providing free swab tests.

“Kesa naman sila paalisin mo pumunta sa swabbing facility, baka mai-spread pa nila yung virus. We also have a swabbing team so pinupuntahan po doon sa kanilang bahay para i-swab po sila,” Dr. Gloria Balboa, director for the NCR Center for Health Development, said.

(Instead of sending them to a swabbing facility, which they can possibly spread the virus. We also have a swabbing team that can go to their home to swab them.)

Balboa added that they are planning to set up additional drive-thru swabbing centers.

The country on Wednesday documented 10,775 more COVID-19 infections, increasing the Philippines’ total tally to 2,871,745.

The Department of Health (DOH) said the top regions with cases in the recent two weeks were NCR with 7,420 or 69%, Region 4-A with 1,719 or 16%, and Region 3 with 798 or 7%. — Richa Noriega/BM, GMA News

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