By Armando Fenequito Jr.
DAVAO CITY – The city government here has released a new set of guidelines in view of the national government’s declaration of a Code Red alert over the threat posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid 19).
In a statement released by the City Information Office on Sunday, the local government has already postponed the flag-raising ceremony for City Hall employees on Monday morning, as a measure to avoid mass gatherings.
The statement said that, instead of attending the flag ceremony, City Hall employees were instructed to clean and disinfect their personal spaces and offices, and areas that are frequently used by the public.
“Heads of offices are mandated to create a regular disinfection schedule for frequently touched surfaces inside their offices,” the statement said.
The guidelines said that employees will be banned from receiving personal visitors. Only those who have transactions with the government are allowed in the offices.
Hand sanitizers or alcohol should be made available for the public before entering and upon leaving the offices.
City government employees who have shortness of breath, fever, cough, cold and flu-like symptoms shall stay home, and have themselves checked by a doctor. They should bring a doctor’s clearance when reporting back to work.
“Employees are prohibited to share food and eating utensils with others during meals in their offices. Everyone is required to bring their own re-usable dining wares,” the guidelines stated.
It also said private organizations, business establishments, and other offices were being strongly encouraged to postpone non-essential mass gatherings until June 2020.
All banks, hotels, resorts, restaurants, hospitals, places of worship, buses, jeepneys, taxis, ride-sharing vehicles, government offices, schools, malls, theaters, airports, taxi and van terminals, ports, civil courts, fitness gyms, recreational centers, funeral parlors, internet cafes, bars, coffee shops, palengkes and all other places where people frequently gather should have their daily disinfection protocols for frequently touched surfaces.
It also said that schools are encouraged to accelerate their school calendar and postpone graduation activities to June 2020. However, we shall abide by the official advisory of the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education.
“All Araw ng Barangay celebrations and the conduct of caravan of government services shall be postponed until July 1, 2020. However, there shall be no disruption in the delivery of basic government services in the appropriate government building and offices,” the guidelines said.
All places of worship should come out with their guidelines in the conduct of activities for the observance of the Lenten season and Ramadan.
“All rituals and ceremonies pertaining to these religious activities that can be dispensed with are highly encouraged,” it stated.
The city government also urged organizers that proper food handling during iftar should be observed.