By Jhon Casinas
The Marikina City government is expecting the full operation of select businesses and industries in the city on Monday as Metro Manila will transition to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) amid the ongoing pandemic.
With this, Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said that the real challenge now of the local government “is to balance the biosafety concerns and the viability of the local economy. Thus, making mass testing necessary.”
“Under GCQ, inaasahan natin na ‘yung dating 50 percent na workforce ay magiging 100 percent na, kung saan magiging fully operational na sila (Under GCQ, we expect that the previous 50 percent of the total workforce will now be 100 percent, where they will now be fully operational),” Teodoro said in a statement.
Marikina City is one of the first local government units that conducted mass testing of returning workers as the national government eases the quarantine measures in some parts of the country including in Metro Manila.
The mayor said the conduct of mass testing is a “good investment” for the health of the public as the threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is still there.
“This is a good investment that should be made for public health which is imperative, necessary, and essential to address the problems of COVID-19,” Teodoro said.
Although mass testing is not a requirement for returning workers, the local chief executive underscored the crucial importance of such testing, saying this will help them determine the necessary measures to undertake in order to stop the infection.
“Through mass testing, we are able to establish a database to act on public health protocols and necessary interventions to avoid community transmission,” he said.
Teodoro said the local government will regularly conduct targeted mass testing as part of the health services of the city in the “new normal.”
He said the city government will also conduct “random testing by sampling” to determine whether a certain area in the city is COVID-free.
“This is what we call surveillance testing,” the mayor said.
“We should test, treat and isolate, every case to break the chain of transmissions,” he added.