Manila provides free swab tests for vendors, drivers
MANILA, Philippines — The Manila City government will provide free reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for employees of malls, hotels, restaurants and supermarkets, vendors in public markets, and drivers of e-trikes, pedicabs, tricycles, jeepneys and buses operating in the city.
Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said Wednesday that he directed the Manila Health Department to provide the free swab tests to these workers under Executive Order No. 39.
“The real threat of COVID-19 will continue to persist in our community, thereby sending fear to every person of getting infected with it. This fear will affect not only the individual preferences and behavior or every person, but also the economic growth (of the city),” Moreno said in a statement.
“In order to allay the fear of getting infected with COVID-19, there is a need to assure the public that employees of these frequently visited establishments are COVID-19 free and thus spur economic activities,” he added.
Moreno also ordered the heads of the Manila Bureau of Permits and Licensing Office, Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila and Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau to “require establishments under their jurisdiction to require filling up mandatory health declaration forms for contact tracing purposes.”
Executive Order No. 39 was issued after the inauguration of the government-run Sta. Ana Hospital’s new molecular laboratory, which is capable of processing about 1,000 swab tests a day.
The facility was built through the efforts of the Manila City government, assistance from the Ayala Group of Companies, and donations turned over by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
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