The fish and vegetable section of the Food Terminal Market of Negros Occidental (FITMON) at the North Capitol Road in Bacolod City has been shut down after a 45-year-old job order worker at the facility succumbed to COVID-19, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said today, November 24.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said they will see how the family of the JO worker can be assisted.
His death is a reminder that COVID-19 is still around and while there is talk of a vaccine it will be some time before it becomes available in the country, Lacson said.
About 20 workers and guards at the affected FITMON section were swabbed for COVID-19 tests and isolated, Diaz said.
Contact tracing is also underway, he added.
Lucille Gelvolea, head of the provincial government’s Economic Enterprise Development Department, said the 45-year-old JO did not manifest any symptoms of COVID-19 but collapsed at his residence on Sunday.
According to his family he was admitted at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Region Hospital and went into a coma prior to his death Monday, she added.
His death has been reported to the barangay captain of Barangay 6 where the FIFMON is located, she said.
The JO was cremated and members of his family who live at Cordova Street in Bacolod are under barangay monitoring, she added.
She said the FITMON has not been officially been opened but fish vending was allowed at the North Capitol Road side of the facility to cushion the economic effects of COVID-19 on the vendors.
Vegetables are also being sold in the area under the “Negrense: Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” program of the Department of Agriculture, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, and the Multi-Sectoral Alliance for Development, she said.
Lacson said the provincial government has not allocated funds for COVID-19 vaccines should they become available in the market since it is a matter that the national government is handling.
“We still do not have guidelines whether LGUs (local government units) can buy these vaccines,” he said.*