Over 500 market vendors from Quezon City underwent pooled testing for the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), where eight vendors tested positive.
The pooled testing at Frisco, Tandang Sora, Philand Dr., and Balintawak Market was done through a partnership between the city government and Project Ark.
“We appreciate the continuous support of Project Ark in our battle against COVID-19. This initiative complements our testing efforts as we slowly gear towards revitalizing our economy,” Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a statement released on Tuesday.
Belmonte said the P4.5-million partnership will allow them to test around 4,000 more individuals. Priority will be given to non-medical frontliners such as market vendors, jeepney and tricycle drivers, call center agents, among others.
“These workers risk exposure to the highly-contagious virus while earning a living, and completing essential tasks that we might take for granted,” she said.
Quezon City Health Department Chief Esperanza Arias said pooled testing is suitable for big groups as it allows testing of more individuals with fewer resources.
Through the pooled testing, swab samples from five asymptomatic individuals are processed together to detect COVID-19.
The samples from pooled tested individuals are taken to laboratories of the Lung Center of the Philippines and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center.