Foodpanda delivery worker suspected of COVID-19 placed under quarantine

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 May) – A delivery food runner of Foodpanda has been placed inside a quarantine facility for being suspected of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after failing the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) conducted by the local government of Davao City last week, Mayor Sara Duterte said.

Foodpanda riders in Davao City. MindaNews photo

In her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) 87.5, Duterte said the local health authorities could not confirm if the food delivery worker is positive for COVID-19 since they are still awaiting the result of his swab test using the reverse transcript polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machine, considered as the gold standard in the detection of the highly contagious disease infection.

Around 800 food delivery runners went through the scheduled RDT last week.

“We cannot still say if he is confirmed COVID-19 positive for as long as there is still no PCR result, even though the RDT is positive. If he is positive with rapid test, we should wait for his PCR test. But in the meantime, let us just assume that he is positive, even though his testing result has yet to come out,” she said.

Duterte urged the clients of the various food delivery services to be wary of the items delivered to their houses, as they are possibly contaminated with the infection, and reminded them to practice frequent handwashing after handling these items to protect themselves from infection.

She stressed that when bringing in “anything that is not organic in our house, meaning it comes from outside and we bring it inside our house, please make sure to wash your hands after handling them.”

Foodpanda has yet to issue a statement on the mayor’s announcement. MindaNews is still awaiting reply from Reynaldo Rubio, public relations manager fo Foodpanda Philippines and its area marketing manager, Anne Eliseo.

As of Monday, Duterte said the city has a total of 121 COVID-19 cases who are still confined in the health facilities: 77 at the Southern Philippines Medical Center, nine at Center A, two at Center B, one at Center C, and 32 at Center D.

She said 81 patients recovered and 22 died.

The Department of Health-Davao region reported 177 cases as of 5 p.m. on Monday, May 11, 159 of these in Davao City. Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)