Mandaluyong City Mayor Menchie Abalos on Wednesday said the local government cannot yet determine how the over 200 tricycle drivers got infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Interviewed on Unang Balita, Abalos said the 255 tricycle drivers, who are all asymptomatic, come from different barangays. Abalos said they cannot trace yet how the disease was transmitted among them.
"Hindi mo ma-trace kung sasabihin mo na nahawa kung kanino kasi nga random 'yung aming ano eh. Iba-ibang barangays itong mga drivers na 'to eh kaya di namin masabi kung nahawa kung kanino..." Abalos said.
"Kapag nagpositive sila sa rapid test, automatic 'yan ipapa-swab natin, 'yung PCR. Then, automatic din na i-isolate na namin sila and then of course, 'yung kayang magpa-isolate sa bahay, home quarantine, o hindi kaya nilalagay namin sa isang gym or sa isang school namin..." Abalos added.
Abalos also clarified that the tricycle drivers, who tested positive for COVID-19 through a rapid test, are not yet resuming their operations across Mandaluyong City,
"Hindi pa naman sila bumibiyahe talaga, actually ang sabi ko kasi hangga't walang rapid test, hindi sila puwedeng bumiyahe. 'Yun 'yung naging ano ko..." she said.
"Ganyan kadami kasi naman close to 4,000 ang aming pina-rapid test kasi 8,000 'yung aming tricycle drivers, medyo nangangalahati na kami ngayon kaya out of 4,000, 255 'yung nagpositive sa rapid," Abalos added.
Abalos assured the public that the tricycle drivers are already isolated.
In a separate Dobol B sa News TV interview, Abalos said the number of infected tricycle drivers could still increase.
"Expected ko tataas pa kasi imaginin mo 8,000 'yung tricycle drivers, kung di ko pinarapid test 'yung mga 'yan, halimbawa nagbukas, patakbuhin ko... hindi namin alam ganon pala sila karami..." Abalos said.
Meanwhile, as the city government prepares for the "new normal," Abalos said she has directed that tricycle drivers must put plastic in their units to protect not only themselves, but also their passengers.
Tricycle drivers must always wear a face mask and gloves.
A disinfectant, alcohol, and log book must always be available in their tricycle, Abalos said.
There should also be a drop box for the exact payment of passengers, Abalos said.
On the other hand, Abalos said certificates would be issued for tricycle drivers who are cleared to operate across the city. —Anna Felicia Bajo/LBG, GMA News