STRANDED workers in Quezon City, Metro Manila, the Philippines, wait for shuttle services following the suspension of mass transit on the first day of the government's reimplementation of a stricter lockdown on Aug. 4, 2020. (Reuters)
BY JOSEPH PEDRAJAS
Employers, employees and residents take note.
Workplaces in Quezon City have been identified by the local government as “hotspots” for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission.
Based on the report provided by the City’s Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU), the local government established that workplace is the most common area for virus transmission after 104 of 722 positive cases recorded from February 28 to March 13, 2021 were acquired by employees physically reporting for work.
What’s frightening is that infection will spread within household once an infected employee goes home, making it “to be the most common exposure setting,” where 256 cases or 35 percent of total COVID-19 from the same period have occurred, the city government added.
“Reports showed that household transmission stems from one member of the household acquiring the virus from his workplace,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a statement Monday.
This, according to Belmonte, prompted the local government to instruct its “departments to closely look into workplaces and check if they still adhere to our health protocols.”
“Employers must do all they could to minimize risks among their employees, especially essential workers, so they won’t bring the virus home to their families,” she said.
Amid surge in its new COVID-19 cases, Belmonte on Sunday issued a list of supplement guidelines that require establishments in the city to create a dedicated COVID-19 taskforce that will “implement prevention, detection, contact tracing, isolation, and management strategies of their company, office, or store, if feasible.”
The local government said, workplaces “must provide transportation alternatives for employees, as far as practicable, to reduce exposure on their daily commute.”
“Establishments must also provide separate entrances and exits to reduce mingling of foot traffic and to place hand sanitizing stations and a contact tracing log, KyusiPass as far as feasible, at each entrance,” it added.
The local government also encouraged the management of any workplace to re-arrange their furniture or equipment to provide enough physical distancing, install barriers, implement alternative work schedules, among others.
As of Sunday, March 14, the city has 2,991 active COVID-19 cases.