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400 of 5K COVID positive in Manila’s free swab test

Isko Moreno
Mayor Isko Moreno announced that the families of the 400 of the 5,000 who were swabbed based on his executive order and who tested positive for COVID-19 will receive food assistance as agreed by him and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna (behind him). Photo by JERRY S. TAN

AT least 400 tested positive for the coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) in the free mass swab testing recently held by the city government of Manila for drivers of pedicabs, tricycyles, jeepneys and e-trikes, public market vendors and employees of malls, hotels, restaurants and supermarkets.

This was bared by Mayor Isko Moreno, who added that the number is out of the total of more than 5,000 so far subjected to the said testing pursuant to an executive order he issued for the purpose.

Moreno said those infected have already been taken cared of and are undergoing monitoring and treatment. This has prompted Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and Manila Health Department chief Dr. Arnold Pangan to come up with the idea of giving the families of those who tested positive food assistance good for 14 days or two weeks.

“Hindi marangya, pero hindi magugutom ang pamilya nila,” Moreno said of the food assistance consisting of a sack of rice and grocery items, whose distribution was implemented immediately.

The mayor said a good number of those who tested positive happen to be the breadwinners in the family and are worried about how their family will eat while they undergo treatment, citing the same fear as the reason why some are hesitant to get tested.

Moreno said the case of a breadwinner who is being treated and the conversation the patient had with his father who had told him not to worry because the city government already sent them food good for two weeks.

“Gaya ng lagi kong sinasabi, susubukan naming akapin ang mas marami. Pag di na namin kaya, magsasabi kami,” Moreno said as he and Lacuna inaugurated the newly-renovated, expanded quarantine facility at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.

Moreno and Lacuna opened the said facility whose bed capacity was increased to 66. This came after the inauguration the other day of the San Andres Sports Complex quarantine facility whose bed capacity was also increased and made sturdier. The said free swab testing contained in an executive order is meant to protect as many as possible against the coronavirus and stem its transmission.

Moreno also said there is a need to assure the residents that when they go out and try to go back to their work safely, the fear of getting exposed to PUV drivers or employes of service-oriented establishments and getting the virus is somehow allayed, knowing that these drivers and employes got tested.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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