DAVAO CITY – The city government Davao has scheduled a 12-day “Swab Drive-Thru” program for drivers of public transport vehicles and delivery services from April 26 to May 8 at the Davao Crocodile Park here.
Mayor Sara Duterte here issued Executive Order (EO) No. 22 Saturday saying that the Swab Drive-Thru will be conducted from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for drivers as public ground transport and delivery services pose a significant risk to COVID-19 transmission.
Those who can avail of the free reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test include taxi drivers, van drivers, jeepney drivers, “habal-habal” or motorcycle drivers, tricycle drivers, bus drivers, other drivers of public ground transport vehicles, and motorcycle drivers of food and online item delivery services.
Duterte said drivers don’t need to undergo quarantine while waiting for their test results.
She said public transport refers to a space, open or enclosed, where people are in close contact with one another and with high-use surfaces which can be potential sources of COVID-19 infection.
She added that the “risk of infection is associated with sitting in proximity to an index case, duration of time aboard, inadequate ventilation, consequential recirculation of contaminated air especially in airconditioned public transport vehicles, the widespread use of potentially contaminated barriers to achieve social distancing and contaminated surfaces like handrails, doorknobs, seats, etc., and the countless number of possible infected passengers getting in and out of the vehicle.”
Mizarah S. Arraz, officer-in-charge regional director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-Davao region, in an office circular dated April 20, mandated all public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers operating within the city to submit themselves to the Swab Drive-Thru program as part of the city’s recalibrated “strategies to prevent and control COVID-19 transmission in the city.”
As of April 24, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao region reported 49 new cases, bringing the total cases to 23,004, with 834 active, 21,197 recoveries, and 973 deaths.
Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 cases in Mindanao, tallied 14,348 cases, with 353 active, 13,311 recoveries, and 684 deaths. Davao de Oro reported 1,492 cases, Davao del Norte, 3,955, Davao del Sur, 1,565, Davao Occidental, 226, and Davao Oriental, 1,418.