CEBU City Mayor Edgardo Labella assured the public that he will not shut down the whole Carbon Public Market if he finds individuals in the complex positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Personnel from the City Health Department and the Cebu City Medical Center will be conducting random swab testing in the area.
Labella said that if a vendor tests positive, the existing procedure of isolation will be followed.
If asymptomatic, the patient will be brought to the barangay isolation center. Those who display mild to moderate symptoms will be brought to a quarantine facility, while severe cases will be brought to the hospital.
Labella said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) is still assessing whether to close down a stall if the stall owner has Covid-19.
He said only granular lockdowns will be imposed inside the market like what the IATF and the Emergency Operations Center have been doing in barangays with a high number of Covid-19 cases.
City Market Administrator Irvin Cabales, however, said Carbon vendors do not live in the complex.
“They return to their respective homes when they’re done selling,” Cabales said in Cebuano.
They also have alternate schedules, while some have opted to join the mobile market that visits different barangays, he said.
The Cebu Market Vendors Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Cemvedco), for its part, supports the move to test vendors.
Chairman Erwin Gok-ong Sr. said only 15 percent or 200 stalls have remained opened since the city was placed on enhanced community quarantine at the end of March. That constitutes around 400 vendors, he said.
Gok-ong said the market complex used to have 1,350 stallholders before the pandemic began: 250 in Freedom Park, 100 in Warwick Barracks, 500 in Unit 1 and 250 each in Units 2 and 3.
Meanwhile, Cabales said health protocol is followed inside the market complex.
On Sundays, the whole market is closed for disinfection.
Carbon, as well as other public markets and retail stores, can operate up to 12 hours a day. (JJL)