THE Roxas Night Market reopened on September 12 with a low turnout of both visitors and vendors. However, this was not surprising. With the ongoing threat of the pandemic, people would want to be cautious where they go.
Earlier, Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio said there was a need to reopen the night market to allow the vendors to return to their livelihood.
In March, the night market was closed due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. Due to the crowd it draws every night, the night market could be a hotspot for local transmission.
With the reopening of the night market, the city has placed health safety guidelines on top of updated security guidelines to ensure that Covid-19 transmission is prevented. Some of the health safety guidelines that are being implemented at the night market include mandatory wearing of face mask and face shield, temperature check before entering, limiting the number of people allowed inside to observe social distancing, placing wash stations strategically for handwashing, and plastic barriers between vendors and marketgoers.
There is clearly a risk with the reopening of the Roxas Night Market. However, there is also a need to let people return to their livelihoods. Hence, the delicate balance the city is managing between reopening the economy and ensuring the safety of the people.
Duterte-Carpio also said they hope that the night market will not become an epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in the city. She also reminded vendors on Monday, September 14, to strictly follow health safety protocols.
"Ma-blacklist ang vendor na dili musunod sa health protocol sa Roxas Night Market. Kinahanglan masunod ang strict health protocol para sa mga vendors dira para musalig and mga tao na musulod dira sa night market," the mayor said during her interview on the Davao City Disaster Radio.
Therefore, it is important for not only the vendors but also the market-goers to strictly observe health safety protocols to ensure that there will be no Covid-19 transmission in the area.
If you are worried about staying for several minutes at the night market, you can always opt to just purchase the food for take-out and enjoy it at the safety and comfort of your homes. With this, you spend less time at the night market and avoid the crowd but at the same time, you are able to support the vendors here.
However, only time will tell if the night market will be a center for local transmission in Davao City. We hope we do not come to that point. As we have said earlier, in ensuring that the Covid-19 transmission in Davao City is controlled, we all have to work together and follow health safety protocols.