The city government here is assessing the effectivity of the safety protocols in major public markets based on the results of the mandatory surveillance testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) participated in by vendors last weekend.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said on Tuesday that 25 market vendors tested positive for Covid-19, which indicates a 1.5 percent positivity rate out of the 1,665 who underwent swab tests.
“Having this data now will help us assess, if the safety protocols set in place by our market supervisors such as wearing of face shields and face masks, installation of handwashing stations, and imposing physical distancing, are effective,” the mayor said in a statement.
Leonardia acknowledged the cooperation and commitment of the market vendors in the city government’s effort to fight Covid-19.
In a virtual press briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Hector Gayares, deputy for medical services of Bacolod City Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said that through surveillance testing, they aimed to work ahead to prevent transmission in public markets, which is among the more congested places in the city.
Once the positive cases are detected, they can be contained, he added.
“There were 25 who yielded positive. If the 25 were not tested, they could multiply by three and become 75, who can then multiply by three or by five. Then we will be back to the hundreds,” Gayares said.
Based on Executive Order 66, which provided for the conduct of mandatory surveillance testing project, vendors or co-workers who test positive will be extracted to be committed for quarantine/isolation.
While under quarantine/isolation, 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.
Those who submitted themselves to the diagnostic test were issued permits or market pass to gain access to their stalls inside the markets or to be allowed to sell along the premises of the markets. (PNA)