THE Department of Health in Davao Region (DOH-Davao) reported a change of trend in the clustering of Covid-19 cases as transmissions in workplaces of 12 establishments were reported.

DOH-Davao Assistant Director Lenny Joy Rivera said a total of 50 cases from the 12 establishments were recorded. Out of the 50, 33 are still recovering. The majority of them are asymptomatic.

Rivera said they saw changes in the clustering of cases when the region shifted to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Under the MGCQ status, more establishments are allowed to resume operation to gradually revive economic activities.

"Before, meron tayong cluster cases per area, such as barangays, and sa districts natin. Pero tinitingnan natin yung clustering of cases ngayon, nasa workplaces na," Rivera said in a One Davao on Covid-19 virtual presser on Friday, October 2.

(Before, most of the clustered cases happened per area, such as barangays and districts. But now, when we look at it, the clustering is within workplaces.)

The DOH official declined to disclose the nature of these establishments, although she said they are a "mix of public and private sectors."

Rivera said they are currently coordinating with the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) and the different local government units (LGUs) to investigate the 12 establishment's compliance with the guidelines on the workplace prevention and control of Covid-19.

"[It is] still undergoing investigation kung saan nagsimula ['yung transmission]. (The origin of the transmission is still undergoing investigation.) At the same time, tinitingnan 'yung health protocols nila sa loob ng opisina (we are also looking into the compliance of the office’s observance of the minimum health protocols)," she said.

One possibility for the transmission of the virus is the non-observation of the minimum health protocol in the office's pantry or eating area.

"Paminsan, sa investigation, 'pag kumakain, 'diba tinatanggal natin yung ating mask. Yun lang ‘yung time na sabay sila sa isang table kumain, and nag-uusap at tinatanggal yung face mask and face shield. ‘Yung ‘yong isang nakikitang reason din bakit nagkahawaan sila since during work time, hindi naman daw sila nag-uusap or malayo sila sa isa't isa," Rivera said.

(In our investigation, there are instances when workers gather at a table to eat that face masks and face shields were removed. That is the only time they gather and talk. That is one of the factors we are looking into as the cause of the transmission since during work time, they don’t talk and they are distant to one another.)

Rivera added there are cases that the origin of the transmission was carried by an employee from their residence or community and was brought within the workplace.

The official said DOH had been constantly reminding establishments to strictly enforce the minimum health protocol within workplaces.

She also urged them to develop a monitoring system to determine the compliance of the health protocols among each employee.