DAVAO CITY – Vendors, suppliers, massage therapists, and security personnel will undergo reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests before the scheduled reopening of the popular Roxas Night Market in Davao City on September 12, Mayor Sara Duterte said.
Duterte said during her interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) that this was the recommendation of local health experts to make sure those who would be permitted to return to the night market would be free from the highly infectious coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“We will do a ‘baseline swabbing.’ We will swab everyone, including the suppliers, vendors, masseurs, and even the security personnel who will be assigned in the night market. We will test all of them before they can be allowed to enter,” she said.
She added that the “baseline swabbing” was intended to screen all persons directly involved in the night market to protect the customers from contracting COVID-19.
As of September 1, the Department of Health-Davao has recorded a total of 2,171 cases with 1,635 recoveries and 67 deaths.
Of this total, 1,384 cases were reported in Davao City, 170 in Davao de Oro, 244 in Davao de Norte, 125 in Davao del Sur, 42 in Davao Occidental, and 206 in Davao Oriental.
The mayor ordered the closure of the bustling night market last March 12 to curtail the spread of COVID-19, affecting a total of 498 vendors and masseurs.
Duterte added that the night market will be accommodating only 25 percent of the total vendors and masseurs, and they will take turns in providing meals and services at the market every two weeks.
She earlier said there was strong clamor to reopen the night market to help the displaced vendors return to their old livelihood.
“I think it’s better for their businesses when there are few players because there is going to be lesser competition,” she said.
She said that the local government has already installed the lights, and cleaned up the areas that would be occupied by the night market in preparation for its reopening.