FREE SWAB TEST. Market vendors in Pritil undergo a free swab test courtesy of the Manila City government. Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso said this is part of the city government’s efforts to combat Covid-19. (Photo by Manila PIO)
MANILA – Market vendors, pedicab, and tricycle drivers in the city of Manila expressed gratitude after they were prioritized for the free mass swab testing being given by the city government.
On Tuesday, the local government started its free mass swab testing in various areas in the city, as ordered by Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso under Executive Order No. 39.
Minyang Ramos, a vendor at the Pritil Market said this will assure everyone that the markets are Covid-free.
“At least mapapanatag ang mga namimili na walang Covid-19 ang mga nagtitinda dito (Market-goers will at least be assured that vendors here are Covid-free),” she said in an interview.
Arthur, a tricycle driver in Tondo, meanwhile thanked Domagoso for the initiative.
“Medyo nakakatakot lang kasi baka mag-positive pero kung sakali man, matutulungan naman na ma-quarantine agad, salamat Yorme (it’s a bit frightening especially if the result turns out positive but at least we are assisted and provided a quarantine facility),” he said.
Even market-goers are happy that vendors and drivers are being tested because they said it gives a sense of assurance to the public.
Among the venues where the free mass swab testing is being done was at the second floor of the Pritil Market targeting the market vendors of the said area.
The Baseco covered court has been set up for public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers.
Meanwhile, Robinsons Place Manila Basement Lobby, Lucky Chinatown Mall, SM City Manila, Breakroom near Admin Office on the fourth floor, and the old food court of SM City San Lazaro cater to mall workers.
To recall, Domagoso ordered the city’s health department to provide free swab tests to members of the working class to boost consumer confidence in the nation’s capital.
“We are targeting to test at least 900 individuals today with the help of the Manila Health Department and of our District Hospitals. This is to assure the health (and) safety of our working class and drivers while they are trying to earn a living, and at the same time, this is for the peace of mind of the consuming public and passengers,” Domagoso said in a mix of English and Filipino over Facebook.
Vendors and drivers, meanwhile, said this is the first time they are getting swabbed with the gold standard RT-PCR for Covid-19 since this process is expensive.
Domagoso added that the specimens collected will be processed at the molecular laboratories in Sta. Ana Hospital and that results will be released within 24 to 48 hours.
Aside from the swab test, the MHD also offers free chest X-ray through the help of the United States Agency for International Development. (PNA)