ZAMBOANGA CITY – A total of 43 essential workers were confirmed positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after undergoing the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing, Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said on Saturday, September 18.
The essential workers are those allowed unhampered movement across borders amid the pandemic since they bring basic commodities.
Most of those who tested positive are not from the city.
Salazar said several of the 43 confirmed positive of COVID-19 have returned to work after recovering and completing their isolation period.
Five other inbound travelers and their seven close contacts also turned out positive in rapid antigen test Friday at the border checkpoint in Licomo, she said.
“Their confirmatory RT-PCR test results are being awaited,” she said.
The checkpoint in Licomo is within the city’s border with Zamboanga Sibugay province which served as the entry point of inter-provincial buses and land travelers from as far as Cagayan de Oro City.
Starting Aug. 11, the city government has imposed the random rapid antigen test for COVID-19 among travelers including those under essential services.
The random testing is done for free at the city’s borders—Licomo, Limpapa, airport, and seaport.