SWAB TEST. Vendors at the Burgos Market in Bacolod City undergo swab test for coronavirus disease 2019 on Saturday (Oct. 10, 2020) as provided in Executive Order 66 issued by Mayor Evelio Leonardia. Some 1,786 vendors and occupants of three major public markets participated in the mandatory surveillance testing. (Photo courtesy of Bacolod City PIO)
BACOLOD CITY – A total of 1,786 vendors and occupants of three major public markets in this city underwent swab test for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on Saturday.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia announced the numbers on Sunday afternoon as he thanked those who participated in the mandatory surveillance testing provided in Executive Order 66.
“We would like to thank all the 1,786 public market vendors who willingly had themselves swabbed. The numbers say it all. More of our people are now aware of the necessity of the testing in our fight against Covid-19 and they realize that such will redound to their personal benefit as well as that of their families and the public in general,” he said in a statement.
Those swabbed were occupying stalls in Central Market, Burgos (North) Market, and Libertad (South) Market, as well as in Manokan Country.
Leonardia acknowledged the swabbers and other front-liners, market officials and personnel, association leaders, police, and Army personnel for their contribution in making the surveillance testing possible.
“The fight against Covid-19 needs the participation and cooperation of everyone to succeed. It cannot be done by the government alone,” Leonardia said, as he appealed to those who “sow misinformation and resort to black propaganda to confuse and mislead the public” to stop their actions since this will bring the city nowhere in the crisis.
The mandatory surveillance testing project was implemented through the Bacolod City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) being supervised by retired Maj. Gen. Melquiades Feliciano, deputy chief implementer of Inter-Agency Task Force-Visayas.
In EO 66, Leonardia said the move is part of the planned programs and activities of the EOC, whose “decisive actions are gaining favorable results and progressive momentum as of this time”.
Under a ticketing system, vendors and co-workers who submitted themselves to the diagnostic test were issued permission tickets or market passes to gain access to their stalls inside the markets, or to be allowed to sell along the premises of the markets.
Those who will cooperate had their stalls or businesses posted with the “compliant” sign.
“In the event that the vendors/co-workers tested positive, they will be extracted to be committed for quarantine/isolation under our existing policies,” EO 66 said.
While under quarantine, those who tested positive may still continue to conduct their business in the markets through their designated in-charge who tested negative, or through any other designated person provided the latter will also undergo the same diagnostic test.
As of Saturday night, Bacolod recorded 4,364 confirmed Covid-19 cases.
Of the number, 3,342 or 78.46 percent have already recovered, while there are still 828 active cases (18.97 percent) and 95 deaths (2.57 percent). (PNA)