SOME offices inside the Davao City Hall are under a 14-day granular lockdown after 12 employees tested positive for Sars-CoV-2, which causes the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Covid-19 Task Force Spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser confirmed to SunStar Davao in a phone interview that based on the breakdown, five employees from the City Budget Office tested positive, four from the City Planning Development Office, and three from City Information Technology Center.
Schlosser said they immediately implemented the lockdown and all of the employees in the mentioned offices were immediately swabbed and placed under mandatory 14-day quarantine, regardless if they test negative in the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
The families of the employees were also swabbed since they are already considered as second-generation contact (F2), and third-generation contacts (F3).
Schlosser clarified that only selected offices with clustering cases were placed under lockdown and that other offices inside the city hall are operating under skeleton workforce.
"At the moment, we were able to catch as soon we were able to identify these individuals, and then right away, naka-lockdown sila (the offices were locked down) and they were swabbed, including their families, which are considered as F2s and F3s," Schlosser said.
As of now, she said they cannot determine the source of the clustering of cases in these offices.
"But based on analysis natin, it could have been, if you noticed, all of those mentioned offices have interaction with the SP [Sangguniang Panlungsod] employees. It could have been nga nakuha nila doon (they got the disease in those areas), and they were able to bring it to their respective offices," she said.
The SP Building was placed under lockdown from May 31 to June 13 after 44 employees tested positive for Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
The official said both the City Hall and SP already have mechanisms to ensure that services will remain unhampered.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio ordered the adoption of other alternative work arrangements in public and private offices effective March 10, 2021.
Duterte-Carpio signed Executive Order (EO) 10 Series of 2021, known as “An Order For The Adoption Of Other Alternative Work Arrangements In Public And Private Offices Until After The State Of Public Calamity (Presidential Proclamation 1021 Series of 2020) Is Lifted Or A New Memorandum From the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Or The Department of Labor And Employment Is Issued.”
The mayor, in her EO, said several offices have experienced a clustering of cases spreading the infection to the employees’ household, which is why there is a need to avoid the lockdown of offices to ensure the continued operations of government and businesses.
“There is a need for massive reduction of individuals inside offices and establishments to ensure that overcrowding, mass gathering, and socialization are continuously prohibited,” she said, also citing the need to prevent a close contact scenario for all employees if a co-employee is confirmed positive.
Duterte-Carpio, in her recent interview, noted that clustering of cases is observed not only in government offices but also in banks and other private establishments, based on their contact tracing history.