Mayor Joy Belmonte reminded residents about its free COVID-19 swab test after she learned that several pregnant women gave birth in tricycles and other unsuitable environments due to the absence of swab tests, which is a required protocol of hospitals prior to admission.
“Ipinapaalala ko sa lahat ng QCitizens, lalo na ang mga may scheduled procedures sa mga ospital o sa mga malapit nang manganganak na may libreng swab test para sa ating mga residente”, Belmonte said.
“Ginagawa nating libre ang testing upang hindi na madagdagan pa ang gastusin ng ating mga kababayang nangangailangang maospital”, she added.
Belmonte however clarified that there is a process to be followed before anyone can enjoy the free swab testing provided by the city government through its community based testing sites.
According to CESU head Dr. Rolando Cruz, residents who want to undergo free COVID-19 testing can now book an appointment online through http://bit.ly/QCfreetest.
After filling out the form, the requesting individual will receive a call from a community-based testing (CBT) verifier to further assess the resident’s condition.
A confirmation text will then be sent notifying the resident of the schedule of the swab test that will be conducted in one of the CBT testing sites located in all districts of the city.
“Swab testing is strictly by appointment and no walk-ins are allowed to avoid overcrowding. This is also due to the limited supply of daily test kits allocated for this purpose,” said Dr. Cruz.
In addition to pregnant women and residents who plan to undergo medical operations and procedures such as dialysis, prioritized for swab testing are close contacts of COVID-positive patients and persons experiencing symptoms.
“For pregnant women, we remind them to be conscious of their delivery date when booking a schedule for swab testing to avoid any unforeseen circumstances. This is free, so we encourage them to avail of the service,” said Cruz.
Cruz added that pregnant women are usually told to book for swab-testing a week before their expected due date, but they are also encouraged to seek advice from their doctor or midwives at the nearest health center.
He said that once a pregnant woman books for free testing through the CESU, the Unit schedules them for testing immediately the following day.
“Valid pa rin ang kanilang test result hanggang 14 days kung lumagpas sila sa due date nila,” he said.
The CESU also has the Kyusi-industriya I.W.A.S. (industry-wide active surveillance) program where free swab testing is offered to Quezon City-based workers of both private and government offices, especially if this is a requirement for them to go back to physical workplaces after a work-from-home arrangement. Market vendors are also included in the program among others.
Meanwhile, Belmonte expressed gratitude to the city and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) contact tracers for helping a woman who gave birth while aboard a tricycle, and for their untiring efforts in keeping communities safe from COVID-19.
“Hindi sila nagdalawang-isip na tumulong kaya saludo tayo sa kanila. Nagpapasalamat rin tayo sa walang pagod na pagtatrabaho at pagsisikap ng ating contact tracers. Napakalaki ng kanilang papel sa ating hangaring mapigil ang pagkalat ng COVID-19 sa ating mga komunidad,” Belmonte said.