The local government of Catarman in Northern Samar has required stall owners and vendors at the town’s public market to undergo coronavirus disease (Covid-19) test.
This is due to the sudden rise of Covid-19 cases on the onset of October in Narra village, where the public market and other commercial establishments is located, Mayor Francisco Rosales Jr. said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The local health office will administer the testing for free. This is to ensure that all stall occupants have not contracted the virus for the safety of their clientele and to prevent further spread of the virus,” he added.
As of Oct. 29, a total 37 vendors at the wet market have undergone coronavirus testing, of which three turned out positive, while some 45 remaining occupants from the wet and dry market will get tested this week, the local government said.
As directed, stalls and establishments of occupants who tested positive for coronavirus would be temporarily closed.
“Those with negative results will be allowed to continue operation provided that minimum health and market protocols are strictly followed. Failure to religiously follow the established protocols would be grounds for suspension of their existing business permits and non-renewal thereof in the succeeding years,” Rosales said.
Stalls and establishments of those who will refuse to undergo the mandatory Covid-19 test would be ordered closure during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or modified ECQ (MECQ), he added.
To date, the town has confirmed a total of 259 cases, including 159 recoveries and three deaths, the local government said.
Since the number has not lowered to a manageable level for the past two weeks, Rosales has requested the regional task force against Covid-19 to extend the MECQ status in its 23 villages within the town center, considered as high-risk areas until Nov. 13.
The villages of Narra, Acacia, Airport Village, Bangkerohan, Baybay, Calachuchi, Cawayan, Casoy, Dalakit, Ipil-Ipil, Jose Abad Santos, Jose P. Rizal, Lapu-lapu, Macagtas, Mabolo, Molave, Sampaguita, Santol, Talisay, University of Eastern Philippine (UEP) Zone 1, UEP Zone 2, UEP Zone 3, and Yakal were placed under MECQ on Oct. 15.
The local government also requested the RTF to extend the travel ban for returning locally stranded individuals during the MECQ. (PNA)