MARIKINA CITY — Twenty-nine workers at the Marikina City Public Market had tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said Tuesday, prompting the local government to implement strict measures there to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
The 29 include stall owners, vendors, porters and helpers from the market.
Teodoro said that as part of the city's "enhanced targeted testing," 2,000 public market workers were subjected to rapid testing, of whom 66 were found to be reactive.
The 66 underwent swabbing for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and 29 of them tested positive for COVID-19.
"Itong 29 na ito, agaran nating dinala sa ospital upang doon sila ay ma-treat at ma-quarantine upang sa ganun, hindi na makahawa pa ng iba," Teodoro said.
The 29 patients were quarantined either at home or in the city's quarantine tents at the back of the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center.
To minimize the number of people going inside the market following the confirmed infections, the local government imposed such measures as limiting the stalls there allowed to open per day.
“Sinasabi namin, hindi ito 100 percent guarantee na mawawala na yang transmission. Nasa pag-iingat pa rin natin," Teodoro said.
(This is not a 100 percent guarantee that we can curb the transmission. It still depends on our precautions.)
"Iwasan makipag-usap nang matagal sa palengke. Iwasan mamalengke nang matagal. Mag-practice ng social distancing. Pagdating sa bahay, wag lang maghugas ng kamay, kundi maligo at magpalit ng damit," he added.
(Avoid chatting for a long time inside the market. Be quick in buying what you need. Practice social distancing. Upon reaching home, don't just wash hands, but also take a bath and change clothes.)
Some stall owners like Clarisa Bautisa complain of low sales but agree with the need for strict measures to curb the spread of the disease.
"Matumal po. Malaki ang nawala sa amin, sobrang tumal talaga, halos wala nang taong pumapasok," Bautista said.
(We lost a lot, the sales are very poor. Almost no one is coming to shop.)
Market-goers who cannot avoid supply runs take extra precautions.
“Complete ako: hand gloves, mask at shield... May 3-year old daughter ako, so bago ako pumasok ng bahay naliligo ako sa parking,” said online business owner Ann Ignacio.
(I have a complete set of hand gloves, mask and face shield. I have a 3-year-old daughter so before I go back to our house, I take a bath in the parking area.)
“Lakas lang at basta manalig ka sa Panginoong Diyos. Hindi naman gawa ng tao ito,” said, Rosario Balbarin, a senior citizen who had to buy fish for dinner.
(Just stay strong and trust God. This pandemic is not made by man anyway.)