The SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City has recently been converted into a COVID-19 mega swabbing facility. The initiative is in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Red Cross, and Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
SM through the Sy Family has allowed the use of the events and concert venue into a testing facility, after discussions with the BCDA. SM will support the initiative by providing the various logistical needs of the testing center, such as manpower support, utilities, and internet, among others.
“The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is early detection and having people tested. I believe the first batch of those to be tested are our returning OFWs and if they are tested negative, they can go back to their places of residence with peace of mind,” said Herman Medina Cue, SM Lifestyle, Inc. Chief Operating Officer.
With a total of 72 test booths manned by nurses, medical technicians, nursing assistants and encoders, and other staff – the mega swabbing facility can accommodate 1,000 to 1,500 tests per day. The test kits are provided by various entities in coordination with DOH and BCDA. The facility will be operational from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm, from May 11 to May 22. At least 20,000 OFWs are expected to get tested by the end of this period.
During testing, patients will be advised to follow an operational process that was arranged and finalized by BCDA, as well as safety measures inside the testing center, such as observing safe distancing and wearing face masks.
(L-R) DOH Sec. Francisco Duque, Sen. Dick Gordon, BCDA’s Vince Dizon at the inspection of the mega swabbing facility last May 8 at SM MOA Arena
If they test positive, they will have to undergo quarantine and treatment in Metro Manila. If not, they will be given a certificate that will allow them to go home to their families and respective provinces. However, they will still need to undergo home quarantine.
The conversion of the SM MOA Arena to a mega swabbing facility is one of the many ways SM is helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19. For updates on COVID-19 in the Philippines, visit: https://www.doh.gov.ph/2019-nCoV.