MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor and presidential aspirant Isko Moreno said on Thursday, January 6, that COVID-19 medicines stocked by Manila City Hall can be used even by non-residents, as long as they present a doctor’s prescription. The city’s drive-through swab testing is also open to non-residents free of charge.
“Yes. Manila has had an open policy since the beginning,” he told Rappler on Thursday, January 6, when asked if non-Manila residents can avail of the free COVID-19 medicine and tests offered by the Manila city government.
Earlier that day, his staff sent a press release about how Filipinos can avail of the city’s stocks of anti-COVID-19 drugs like remdesivir, tocilizumab, baricitinib, and molnupiravir. Manila was one of the first entities in the Philippines to receive molnupiravir pills, aside from the office of Vice President Leni Robredo.
“Sa ating mga kababayan na naghahanap ng gamot, welcome po kayo sa Maynila. Ang importante, mabuhay ‘yung tao, mailigtas ‘yung tao, kahit sino pa siya,” said Moreno, as quoted by the press release.
(To our countrymen looking for medicines, you are welcome in Manila. What’s important is the lives of people, to save people, whoever they may be.)
As of January 3, Manila had 42,000 molnupiravir tablets and more than 1,000 tocilizumab tablets. Molnupiravir is supposed to prevent the progression of mild or moderate symptoms to severe while tocilizumab aims to prevent deaths in severe cases. In November 2021, the city received 6,600 tablets of baricitinib, medication intended for patients with moderate to severe symptoms.
Those who wish to avail of tocilizumab need to submit a COVID-19 positive test result, doctor’s prescription, medical abstract, and contact number.
Persons in need of the medicines must contact the Manila City Health Department’s Emergency Operations Center (MEOC) using the following numbers:
Free swab test
Moreno is also offering to non-Manileños the use of the city’s free swab testing services. They are available in the following medical facilities:
- Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center
- Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital
- Ospital ng Tondo
- Ospital ng Sampaloc
- Ospital ng Maynila
- Sta. Ana Hospital
Those seeking more information about the free testing can contact these numbers:
“Our drive-thru testing continues, it’s free. Free swab testing in our six hospitals continues,” said the mayor in Filipino.
The city government also just received 10,000 antigen test kits, bringing its stock to 15,000. Free test kits can also be availed of by eligible persons.
Dr. John Wong, a medical expert advising the national government, has told President Rodrigo Duterte about the need to make antigen testing more accessible and affordable to the public, amid the surge in COVID-19 infections linked to holiday activities and the entry of the Omicron variant. – Rappler.com