Editorial: Workplace clusters

AMONG the reasons for the recent increase in active Covid-19 cases in Davao City is workplace clusters.

"For Davao City, sa pagtaas sa kaso diri, na-observe jud namo nga most of these cases are in the worksite. Kay na notice namo nga dili siya kalat, sa karon, pila ka weeks napansin namo nga naa sa trabahuan nga daghan kaayo and sa institutions (We noticed that the increase in Covid-19 cases in the city was found to be in workplaces)," Dr. Julinda Acosta, technical division chief of Davao City Health Office, said during the One Davao On Covid-19 virtual presser on October 21.

This is evident after the temporary closures of the Davao City Hall of Justice and the Civil Service Commission in Davao Region (CSC-Davao) after several employees from the two government offices tested positive for the Sars-CoV-2, the virus causing the Covid-19.

In response, the City Government of Davao City issued Executive Order 56 (EO 56), which was signed by Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte when he was acting mayor. The EO orders public offices and encourages private offices to observe alternative work arrangements like work-from-home and flexible work hours.

According to health authorities, one of the main reasons to the cluster of cases in workplaces is the lack of compliance of minimum health protocols like wearing of face masks or observing social distancing.

The risk of transmission at workplaces also increases as employees dine together during lunch hours or merienda time. During this time employees eat in one area and are not wearing face masks.

As Covid-19 cases increase and the mayor made it clear that it would be difficult for the city to revert to a stricter community quarantine, there is a need for workplaces and their employees to self-regulate.

This means that we take it upon ourselves to ensure that minimum health protocols are observed at the workplace. This means that employers must implement protocols that will ensure that everyone is wearing a face mask or face shield, hand hygiene, and observing social distancing.

"Bawat isa, isapuso natin yung minimum health standards na hindi ka mahawa, hindi ka rin makakahawa (We have to take to the minimum health standards to ensure that we do not get infected nor infect others)," Rivera said.


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