BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Bacolod City Administrator Em Ang clarified yesterday that the city government has no intension to close the major markets for three days once the market vendors submit themselves for swab testing.
It is also not true that the market vendors will be made to undergo a14-day quarantine after being swabbed, Ang said, adding that the vendors should not believe this misinformation.
Before the scheduled pool testing of market vendors this weekend, she said, the city will conduct an information campaign in the markets this week.
Ang said they have identified the market vendors and market employees as the target population for pool testing, in the same pattern of what Cebu used, which proved to be effective.
She said this will help determine who are positive for COVID-19 or not, because more than 70 percent of people who have been tested were asymptomatic and can infect others.
The principle of pool testing is to get together five to 10 specimens using one test kit. The city will shoulder the expenses, Ang said.
If the vendors will undergo swab test in private laboratories, it will cost them between P4,500 to P5,000, she added.
Ang said the market will be divided into different zones and only the zone where vendors tested positive will be closed. The city does not intend to close the markets for three days, she stressed.
The pool testing will be conducted to control the spread of the infection. Only those who test positive will be isolated, Ang added.
The Department of Health in Region 7 has committed to release the results within 24 hours, she said.
“If we can control the spread of the infection and reduce the number of COVID-19 cases, we can open our economy. The first to benefit from this will be our market vendors,” Ang said.*