Malabon City pilots new program
The Office of Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday (March 30, 2021) began its newest initiative, Swab Cab, in an bid to support local governments in conducting efficient community based testing amid the continuous rise of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila.
Swab Cab provides antigen testing in communities with high transmission rates, to help the local government identify positive cases faster for contact tracing and isolation. Under the partnership, the OVP, through funds from Kaya Natin Movement, provided antigen test kits and care kits containing face masks and face shields. The buses used as testing areas were courtesy of UBE Express, while the LGU made the list of residents in need of testing, and provided swabbers and personnel for assistance and crowd control.
The pilot run of the initiative was set in Malabon City, in collaboration with its local government, led by Mayor Len Oreta.
Aside from its partners, the OVP also consulted with the Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 (HPAAC), to ensure that the initiative would be efficient. HPAAC recommended prioritizing symptomatic individuals for the use of antigen test kits, which the OVP integrated in the Swab Cab process, alongside other protocols such as proper air and ventilation, physical distancing, wearing of face masks and face shields, and the quick conduct of the tests to ensure limited interaction.
For Tuesday’s rollout in Malabon, the OVP deployed its Swab Cabs to barangays Longos, Potrero, Tonsuya, Tañong and Flores.
At the first few hours of the rollout, tests were done within an average of two minutes. The OVP is in close coordination with the local government of Malabon throughout the process, in particular for next steps for positive cases.
Some 419 tests have so far been conducted in the identified barangays, with 24 yielding positive results, including both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Contact tracing is being done alongside arrangements for isolation of positive cases, who will undergo confirmatory RT-PCR tests.
This initiative is part of the OVP’s continuing support for frontliners and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. (OVP Photos)