DAVAO CITY – The city government of Davao has scheduled a series of community surveillance swab testing for vendors in areas within the central business district, including Chinatown, on April 16 and 19, an official said.
Paul Bermejo, head of the Ancillary Services Unit of the city government of Davao, said the City Health Office has scheduled free testing starting 8 a.m. Friday for street vendors in Chinatown, including Sta. Ana Ave., Monteverde Ave., Ramon Magsaysay St., and Quezon Boulevard at Magsaysay Park.
Another free testing has been scheduled for street vendors around People’s Park, San Pedro St., Bolton St., and Magallanes St. starting 8 a.m. Monday in front of the City Hall of Davao, he said.
Bermejo urged the vendors to participate in the swabbing activity to know their status whether or not they are infected with COVID-19 and stem the spread of infections.
He assured Moro merchants, who are observing the holy month of Ramadan, that it will not interfere with their religious practices because getting the needed specimen will not take so much time.
He said swabbed vendors will not be put in quarantine. The city government of Davao will distribute food packs, composed of rice and canned goods, to individuals after getting swabbed, according to Bermejo.
“The swabbing will just be quick, maybe it will last just a minute. You can return to your stalls afterwards,” he said.
He said a team from his office was tasked to assist the contact-tracers in listing the names of street vendors who are willing to under the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
Under Executive Order No. 18, the city government ordered community surveillance swabbing and monitoring of persons suffering from influenza-like illness (ILI) such like cough, fever, and colds in communities.
Health authorities here have been directed to make regular schedule of surveillance swabbing in business and commercial establishments; public places, including, among others, wet markets, supermarkets, and stores; government offices; private offices and agencies; closed facilities such as Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bahay Pag-asa, Home for the Aged, and orphanage; and other barangays and areas deemed high risk by the City Health Office
Under Executive Order 20, the local government ordered “mandatory swab testing” of all close contacts, including the second and third generation contacts, of an index case.
Individuals are considered “first generation” close contacts or F1 when they come in direct contact with an active case; “second generation” or F2 are the persons who have direct contact with F1; and “third generation” or F3 are the close contacts of F2.