COVID-19 drive-thru swab testing for public transport drivers optional

Drive - thru swabbing area giplano sa Davao City
(File photo from Davao City Government)

DAVAO CITY – The drive-thru free surveillance RT-PCR testing for all drivers of public transportation and delivery services starts Monday (April 26) at the Davao Crocodile Park.

Mayor Sara Z. Duterte said in a radio interview that the drive-thru testing will be available up to May 8.

Duterte signed Executive Order No. 22, Series of 2021, also known as “An Order Providing for Heightened Surveillance and Response of COVID-19 Cases in Public Ground Transport and Delivery Services in Davao City” on April 22.

The E.O says, “the risk of infection in a public utility vehicle, is associated with sitting in proximity to an index case, the duration of time aboard or time spent in the vehicle, inadequate ventilation, consequential recirculation of contaminated air especially in air-conditioned public transport vehicles, the widespread use of potentially contaminated barriers such as plastics to achieve social distancing, and contaminated surfaces like handrails, doorknobs, seats, etc., and the countless number of possible infected passengers getting in and out of the vehicle.”

“For the past four weeks, we conducted surveillance from the various sectors and this time we are on the drivers and the riders. With their daily exposure to numerous people, their services pose a significant risk to COVID-19 transmission,” Duterte said.

She however clarified that the testing is not obligatory. 

“It is voluntary, not mandatory and it’s not reasonable for a ‘no test no drive’ policy. If they get tested they can still continue working. Drivers do not need quarantine while waiting for their test results. They will be notified through a call or text,” she said.

Duterte also said  the risk of infection in delivery or courier services is associated with touching objects or surfaces contaminated by persons unaware that they are infected.“Drivers of public ground transport and delivery or courier services are deemed high risk of exposure to COVID-19 and identified as potential sources of transmission by the City Health Office (CHO), Infectious Disease Specialists, and the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force.