Davao City health official says workplaces major source of COVID transmission

Published June 14, 2021, 2:14 PM

by Antonio Colina IV

DAVAO CITY – More than half of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmissions in Davao City are taking place in workplaces, prompting the local government to implement intensive granular “lockdowns” to control the spread of the virus.

Dr. Ashley Lopez, acting head of the City Health Office (CHO), confirmed that the clustering of COVID-19 cases inside workplaces had overtaken the rate of transmission inside the households.

He said the local health authorities reported more active cases in business process outsourcing (BPOs) firms, banks, manufacturing, government offices, detention facilities, and regional government offices, including the Department of Agriculture, Department of Budget and Management, Bureau of Internal Revenue, and Commission on Appointments, and other establishments.

The local health chief apologized to the management of the establishments that have to be placed under lockdown, saying the local government needed to take measures to put the surge under control.

“We cannot just let the workers or clients in and out of the establishments when your companies are considered high-risk,” he said.

He urged the businesses to strictly enforce the basic health protocols within their premises to avoid transmission of COVID-19 among employees.

He said the cases in establishments increased due to non-compliance with health protocols.

“What will happen if you don’t comply is that we cannot break the cycle. The reason why we are imposing lockdowns on establishments is to break the cycle of infection. The cases are rising because we neglect the protocols,” he added.

He told the business owners to strike a balance between the welfare of their workers and profit.

“We have to consider also that health is still the priority. What will you do with your businesses if all your workers will get sick? It will only result in closure. Our intention is not to discourage business opportunities. We’re doing this to help out to break the cycle of infection,” he added.

The city has been placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) from June 5 until June 20.