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Nation

Isko offers free swab tests to cinema workers

Jose Rodel Clapano - The Philippine Star
Isko offers free swab tests to cinema workers
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s chief of staff Cesar Chavez said the mayor made the offer after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases allowed cinemas, theme parks, museums and other leisure centers to reopen beginning March 1.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman, file

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno yesterday offered free swab tests to cinema workers in the city to ensure that they are COVID-free once movie theaters reopen to the public in areas under general community quarantine next month.

Moreno’s chief of staff Cesar Chavez said the mayor made the offer after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases allowed cinemas, theme parks, museums and other leisure centers to reopen beginning March 1.

Moreno ordered the city health department to conduct reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction tests on cinema workers.

“We will not allow the reopening of cinemas unless workers are tested for the virus,” Moreno said during a meeting yesterday with the managers of SM Manila, SM San Lazaro, Robinsons Place Manila and Lucky Chinatown.

“Those who wanted to return to work have to follow health protocols. This is also for their own good as well as their community,” the mayor added.

Other workers in Manila who are entitled to free swab tests are janitors, security guards, tellers, porters, ticket tellers and snack bar attendants.

Moreno said reopening cinemas would help businesses to recover from the pandemic.

He asked mall managers to present their preparations to reopen cinemas in compliance with the national government’s health protocols.

SM mall managers said they would implement a two-seat-apart arrangement. The management of Robinsons mall said it would adopt a one-seat-apart policy to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

The Lucky Chinatown in Binondo said it would open only two of its four cinemas.

Representatives of the three malls said they would also implement the “no face mask, no face shield, no entry” policy.

CINEMA ISKO MORENO
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