Starting on Monday, May 18, all Marikina City tricycle drivers and operators will undergo mass testing using rapid test kits. This is to ensure the safety not only of the drivers but of their passengers as well.
Marikina Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro said that this is part of the city’s transition from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to modified community quarantine (MECQ) which started on Saturday. The mass testing will prevent possible COVID-19 transmission.
Tricycles and pedicabs resumed operations in Marikina on Sunday after they were given clearance by the city government. Tricycles are allowed to operate under the more relaxed MECQ.
“Pinapayagan na natin na bumiyahe ang ating mga tricycle at pedicab drivers mula bukas, araw ng Linggo. Ito ay para may pagkuhanan ng kabuhayan ang mga drivers para sa kanilang mga pamilya,” a post of the Marikina PIO Facebook page said.
As per the directive of the national government, only one passenger is allowed inside the pedicab or tricycle. The use of face masks, terminal markers is also mandatory. Physical distancing in all terminals shall be observed, as well as regular disinfection and sanitation of all terminals and vehicles.
Mass Testing for Returning employees
Likewise, the city government has also required that all employees, both public and private, shall undergo mass testing before they can report to work. The city is famous for its shoe manufacturing industry and employs around 6,000 personnel.
Mayor Marcy said that aside from having the economic activity of the city up and running, they also want to make sure the safety and health of all workers.
“There are also many changes in the factories. We will have a reconfiguration in the factories. For example, the entry of people will become unidirectional. They will have to follow the right way so that cross-contamination will be avoided,” Mayor Marcy said.
On Friday, Marikina City government conducted testing using rapid test kits to nearly 1,000 employees of C-Point, Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp. (PMFTC), Inc., and Armscor Global Defense, Inc.
Mayor Marcy said that there will be more mass testing in the coming days, as well as regular “random testing by sampling” to ensure workplace safety.
“Realistically, we have a lot to test. Thousands. And time is of [the] essence, our test needs to be fast. So we decided to come up with a strategy to employ rapid testing for the meantime,” the mayor explained.
Those who will test positive in the rapid test will be brought to a quarantine facility for isolation and treatment. They will also undergo a confirmatory test using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.