DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 04 April) – Eight vendors and one female health worker tested positive of COVID-19 during a “surveillance testing” at Agdao Public Market where around 300 individuals had been subjected to reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test last week, Mayor Sara Duterte said Monday.
During her live program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Duterte said all active cases have been isolated and were asymptomatic.
The female health worker of Agdao Health Center recently received the first dose of Sinovac from China, the mayor said.
She said she has yet to receive a recommendation from health authorities whether or not to put the public market on lockdown.
She said additional testing was conducted there on Monday simultaneous with the testing of vendors at the Bankerohan Public Market.
Duterte said the city government pursued surveillance testing, as local health authorities wanted to get ahead of the clustering of COVID-19 cases in high-risk areas, to prevent the further spread of the virus.
She said the decision of the health authorities where to hold the surveillance swabbing and testing was based on the contact-tracing reports, which indicate the workplace and exposure of the active cases.
She said markets are usually among the areas where several individuals get exposed to the virus.
“If we did not conduct the testing, we would have not detected these nine asymptomatic cases. And, because they did not feel any symptoms, they would go on, immersing in the markets, in their homes, and in their communities, and this would cause a spike or a surge if we did not catch them immediately,” she said.
She said the city government is looking for volunteers who would like to get tested for the virus.
“For now, we will test as much as we can. That is our current direction. The only challenge now is how to convince people to get tested even though they do not have the symptoms,” she said.
She said health authorities have been directed to conduct daily surveillance testing in high-risk areas, including private offices, banks, and call centers.
She added the city has implemented mandatory testing for all close contacts of an active case, including persons considered “second and third generation contacts.”
As of April 4, the Department of Health-Davao reported 35 new cases, bringing the total number to 21,835 with 915 active ones, 19,983 recoveries, and 937 deaths in the region.
Of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 incidence in Mindanao, tallied 13,831 cases, with 323 active ones, 12,834 recoveries, and 674 deaths.
Davao de Oro reported 1,398 cases, Davao del Norte 3,574, Davao del Sur 1,460, Davao Occidental 220, and Davao Oriental 1,352. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)