PHOTO CAPTION: San Juan, Molo punong barangay Pascual “Sipil” Espinosa (center, inset) recently scored two of their residents who took part in a swab testing activity in Leganes but continued to go around the barangay in violation of COVID-19 protocols. Later, it was found out that the swab testing is actually part of clinical trials for a new vaccine belonging to two Chinese firms. (N. Glenn Aragon/Photo courtesy of Bombo Radyo, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario and Yicai Global pages)
ILOILO CITY–Only weeks after a woman from northern Iloilo hit the headlines after taking part in a free swab test activity for COVID-19 in Leganes, riding public transport in going home, and testing positive later, a similar incident involving Chinese firms is back on the spotlight after a barangay captain in Iloilo City complained that at least two of their residents were ‘recruited’ to undergo swab testing the other day.
According to Punong Barangay Pascual “Sipil” Espinosa of Brgy. San Juan in the district of Molo, he was shocked upon knowing that residents from their village are being swabbed without his knowledge and sans proper coordination with barangay officials.
If protocols are to be followed, he said, the barangay should at least be informed before swab tests are conducted on their constituents.
“May proseso kita, may system agud ang tanan sa barangay orderly, ma-organize, mabal-an naton kun sin-o ang wala na-swab. This time, natabu ini. Naglibog ulo namun kay nagguwa nga may nagpa-swab nga waay nag-agi diri sa barangay kag nagalagaw pa ang gin-swab. Ti, ang protocol ta, indi pwede kalagaw [We have a process in place, there’s a system so that the barangay will be orderly, organized, so we would know who are those that are yet to be swabbed. This time, this happened. We were a bit baffled that there were residents who got swabbed without informing the barangay, and these people don’t quarantine afterwards. But the protocol is, if you’ve been swabbed, you should isolate],” the San Juan village chief said.
Immediately, the two concerned residents were summoned, especially after it was learned that they also recruited others to take part in the clinical trials for new COVID-19 vaccine brands.
At the meeting, Inday (not her real name) explained that someone recruited them to get swabbed. She said they were paid P2,500 for this. If they test negative for COVID-19 and decide to get vaccinated, an additional P2,500 will be given them for the two sessions of vaccination.
Inday named Westvac and Kangtai as the vaccine companies that are sponsoring the clinical trials in Leganes.
A check with the Foods and Drugs Administration (FDA) showed that it was in May this year when the West China Hospital of Sichuan University and Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products Company, both in China, applied for clinical trials for a new vaccine to fight COVID-19. (N. Glenn Aragon/iNEWS)