CEBU

50 Cebu City workplaces monitored

MUSCLE BUSINESS. A gym on R.R. Landon St. in Cebu City opens business on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, for its clients who are bent on building their muscles and staying fit amid the public health crisis caused by the coronavirus disease 2019. More businesses have opened in Cebu City after it gained a general community quarantine status last Aug. 1. The GCQ status is set to end on Aug. 31. (Amper Campaña)

THE Cebu City Government is monitoring 50 workplaces, excluding hospitals, after some of the employees in these places contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

These establishments were not locked down by the City after they implemented disinfection and containment measures immediately after their employees were found positive for Covid-19, a respiratory disease caused by the Sars-CoV-2 virus.

A portion of the building of a business process outsourcing (BPO) company was placed on lockdown, however. It is set to complete its 14-day granular lockdown on Aug. 27, 2020.

The granular lockdown of a hotel in uptown Cebu City was recently lifted after it acquired a certification from the Department of Health 7 which allows it to serve as an isolation facility for individuals who must quarantine themselves.

These lockdowns were implemented by the City based on the assessment of the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO).

Authorities said roughly three out of five new Covid-19 infections in Cebu City from Aug. 13 to Aug. 17 were traced to the workplace.

Evaluation

BPLO head Jared Limquiaco said the establishments under monitoring include banks, dialysis centers and BPO companies.

Limquiaco said if a Covid-19 patient is a worker, the BPLO will then inspect the establishment where the patient works. The BPLO evaluates the establishment’s response to finding its employee is Covid-19 positive; the BPLO recommends a lockdown if the establishment fails to react to the situation on time.

The BPLO chief advised business owners to be aggressive with their containment measures and contact tracing efforts should one of their employees be found positive for Covid-19.

The company, Limquiaco said, must suspend the operation of the office where the Covid-19-positive employee works, conduct disinfection, trace the employee’s close contacts and isolate them.

Limquiaco said, unlike before, there is no need for the company with a Covid-19-positive worker to get a certification to operate again. If the company does the containment measures, it can resume its operations after 24 hours.

The City’s containment strategy started in early August when Cebu City began to open its economy again under the general community quarantine (GCQ) status. Authorities placed Cebu City on GCQ from Aug. 1 to 15, and renewed it until Aug. 31. (JJL)


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