BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia has ordered the lifting of the “Sunday lockdown” of the three major public markets in Bacolod City – Central Market, Burgos Market, and Libertad Market—starting 18 October 2020.
In his Executive Order No. 68 issued 15 October 2020 Thursday Leonardia cited the results of the COVID-19 Surveillance Testing for market vendors at the three public markets in Bacolod.
“Considering the results of the surveillance testing, pursuant to EO 59 and EO 66, that determined their safety environment for operations, the Sunday lockdown in the three major public markets in the city is considered as no longer presently imperative and may now be lifted,” the mayor said.
During its first day of testing on 10 October only 25 out of 1,665 vendors, who were swabbed, tested positive for the virus – or a 1.5% positivity rate.
Results of tests done on the second day of testing on 13 October are still being awaited.
The mayor added that the periodic clean-up and disinfection of the said markets shall continue to be observed on Saturday or Sunday nights after these markets have closed for the day.
It can be recalled that Leonardia ordered the temporary closure of the three major public markets every Sunday since August for disinfection and as a preventive measure against the spread of the virus.
As places of convergence of many people, public markets can be a reasonable source of transmission for the virus, the mayor explained.
Thus, the need to undertake this surveillance testing as a pro-active means of hunting down the virus and containing it as early as we can for the protection of all the vendors and their customers, Leonardia added.
The surveillance testing of the vendors was recommended by Inter-Agency Task Force-Visayas chief implementer Major General (Retired) Mel Feliciano, in order to control and contain the further spread of COVID-19 infection.
The project was supervised by officials of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) of the city and assisted by the City Health Office, the City Mayor’s Office, the various market committees, the City Legal Office, the City Administrator’s Office, and elements of the PNP and the Philippine Army.
“The overwhelming success of the surveillance testing is attributed to the cooperation and commitment of the market vendors to help in our fight against COVID-19. With their continued observance of the minimum health protocols in these markets, we will keep the numbers down for new COVID cases in these places,” Leonardia said.*/CITY PIO