8 vendors from QC public, private markets test positive for coronavirus
MANILA, Philippines — Eight vendors from public and private markets in Quezon City were confirmed to have COVID-19 after over 500 vendors were pool-tested for the coronavirus, Mayor Joy Belmonte announced Tuesday.
In a statement, the QC government said 549 vendors from four public and private markets in Frisco, Tandang Sora, Philand Dr., and Balintawak Market were pool-tested by the city government.
The eight vendors who tested positive were immediately sent to community care facilities.
The QC government has partnered with private sector-led initiative, Project ARK, for the pool-testing of vendors.
Belmonte said that 4,000 more individuals will be tested following the city’s partnership Project ARK.
The pool testing will prioritize non-medical frontliners, she said.
“Our priority would be our non-medical frontliners such as market vendors, jeepney and tricycle drivers, and call center agents among others,” Belmonte said in a statement.
“These workers risk exposure to the highly-contagious virus while earning a living, and completing essential tasks that we might take for granted,” she added.
Mayor Belmonte then expressed gratitude to Project ARK, after its second collaboration with the city.
“We appreciate the continuous support of Project Ark in our battle against COVID-19. This initiative complements our testing efforts as we slowly gear towards revitalizing our economy,” Belmonte said.
City Health Department (CHD) Chief Dr. Esperanza Arias explained that pooled testing is appropriate for big groups as it allows testing more people with fewer resources.
“Pooling allows us to save resources and test more citizens initially. We will only need to retest them individually if a pool indicated a positive result,” said Arias.
Arias explained that, through the pooled testing, the swab samples from five asymptomatic individuals are processed together to detect COVID-19.
The samples from pooled tested individuals are then taken to laboratories of the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC).
Project ARK is a private sector-led initiative which aims to generate rapid test kits to help pinpoint and contain the spread of the virus and help Filipinos get their lives back and help local businesses rise up once again.
As of November 30, 36,226 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Quezon City according to the Department of Health. Zac Sarao, INQUIRER.net trainee
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