Isko, Honey inaugurate 3rd free, walk-in test center

Isko Moreno & Honey Lacuna
Mayor Isko Moreno and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna cut the ribbon at the opening of the walk- in center at JASGEN. At left is hospital director Dr. Merle Sacdalan. Photo by JERRY S. TAN

AND  then there were three.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna inaugurated yesterday the city’s third free, walk-in COVID testing center in addition to the two that were launched just last week.

The city’s top two officials led the opening of the third walk-in COVID test center at the Justice Abad Santos  General Hospital (JASGEN) in the third district of Manila, joined by JASGEN Director, Dr. Merle Sacdalan.

Last week, Moreno and Lacuna inaugurated similar walk-in test centers at the Ospital ng Sampaloc (fourth district) and the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center (first district) under Dr. Ted Martin.

Sacdalan expressed gratitude to Moreno and Lacuna for choosing JASGEN as the recipient of the Architect i2000 SR machine which has a double load capacity.  The machines being in OSSAM and GABMMC are Architect i1000.  All machines though, offer 99.6 percent specificity and 100 percent sensitivity.

Furthermore, Sacdalan explained that the new machines make use of  ‘serology’ and yield conclusive results, unlike the ordinary rapid test kits that sometimes produce  ‘false negative’ or ‘false positive results.’

The opening of another walk-in COVID test center at JASGEN came after Moreno vowed to put one such test center in each of the city-run hospitals.

Sacdalan assured those who will go to their walk-in center that they need not fear getting exposed to COVID patients being taken cared of in JASGEN, since the said center is located in an area far from where the patients are treated for the virus.

The JASGEN walk-in centers, she said, will be able to accommodate, albeit initially, at least 100 persons per day and it will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday, on a first come, first served basis.

Before the walk-in centers were established, Moreno and Lacuna also opened two drive-thru centers --- one in front of the Bonifacio Shrine near Manila City Hall and another in front of the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta. These are for motorists and even drivers of non-motorized vehicles.

Moreno said all drive-thru and walk-in testing centers are free of charge and may be availed of by Manilans and non-Manilans alike.

Blood samples are taken and then analyzed by the serology testing machines. Those who test negative are informed via text messaging while those who are found positive will be contacted by designated medical professionals who will direct them on the  next steps they should take.