Vendors, masseurs in Davao’s Roxas Night Market to undergo COVID-19 test

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 2 Sep) – Vendors, suppliers, massage therapists, and security personnel will undergo a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test before the scheduled reopening of the popular Roxas Night Market in Davao City on September 12, Mayor Sara Duterte said.

The Night Market at its peak. MindaNews file photo

Duterte said during her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) that this was the recommendation of local health experts to make sure those who would be permitted to return to the night market are free from the highly infectious coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“We will do a ‘baseline swabbing.’ We will swab everyone, including the suppliers, vendors, masseurs, and even the security personnel who will be assigned in the night market. We will test all of them before they can be allowed to enter,” she said.

The mayor added that the “baseline swabbing” was intended to screen all persons who are directly involved in the night market, to protect the customers who will visit there from contracting COVID-19.

As of September 1, the Department of Health-Davao recorded a total of 2,171 cases with 1,635 recoveries and 67 deaths in the entire Davao Region.

Of this total, 1,384 were reported in Davao City, 170 in Davao de Oro, 244 in Davao de Norte, 125 in Davao del Sur, 42 in Davao Occidental, and 206 in Davao Oriental.

The mayor ordered the closure of the bustling night market last March 12 to curtail the spread of COVID-19, affecting a total of 498 vendors and masseurs.

Roxas Avenue at the start of the lockdowns last March. MindaNews file photo by MANMAN DEJETO

But she added that the night market would accommodate 25 percent of the total vendors and masseurs at a time, who will take turns every two weeks.

The mayor said that new entrants would be subjected to RT-PCR tests.

Duterte said earlier that the local government wanted to reopen the night market to help the livelihood of the displaced vendors.

“I think it’s better for their businesses when there are few players because there is going to be lesser competition,” she said.

She said that the local government has already installed the lights and cleaned up the lane that would be occupied by the night market in preparation for its reopening. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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