While the Philippine national government is still following “expanded targeted testing” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s basically up to us to get ourselves tested if we wanted to. It’s a good thing The Medical City in Pasig City launched its drive-thru COVID-19 testing center today, July 7. The program is in partnership with the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health.
The private hospital is using the Enhanced Chemiluminescence Immunoassay antibody test, where a sample of your blood is obtained for analysis. Like the rapid antibody test we usually hear about, this method of screening checks for antibodies that your body has developed as an immune response a week or so after you’ve contracted the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2. The difference is that the Enhanced Chemiluminescence Immunoassay (ECLIA) antibody test promises 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity, according to The Medical City. The testing kit was globally certified by the US and Philippines Food and Drug Administration. It also checks if you’ve had the virus even as an asymptomatic patient based on the antibodies that you have.
To get tested, you may either book an appointment through TMCcovidtest.com or just drop by at the parking area of the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health as a walk-in client. Fasting prior to blood extraction is not necessary. You should stay inside your vehicle from arrival to departure, and each car should only have a maximum of six individuals that will be tested.
The ECLIA antibody test costs P2,200, which can be paid via cash or credit card. Unfortunately, health maintenance organizations or HMOs do not cover COVID-19 testing. The drive-thru center is open from Monday to Saturday, from 7am to 6pm. Results are given within 24 hours.
The Medical City’s drive-thru testing site is available for asymptomatic patients, individuals who think they’ve been exposed to the virus, or employees who need a clearance certificate. Patients who get a positive result from the ECLIA antibody test should get a confirmatory test using the reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, which is also available at The Medical City.
NOTE: This article first appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made.