Baguio engages BPOs to address COVID case outbreak

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The city government and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies agreed to adopt measures to address the current surge in Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in some of the call center firms.

Data from the Contact Tracing Operations Center revealed that since January this year, the city has had a total of 255 cases in various call center companies, bulk of which was recorded this month.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong who called for the meeting facilitated by concerned city government divisions said among the agreements were for the companies to maintain strict adherence to health and safety protocols in all their activities.

The companies were advised to revisit their safety measures and to adjust and innovate where it is needed to make them more apt and effective.

They were also advised to adopt a moratorium on social activities.

Moreover, the city sought more cooperation on their part in the contact tracing operations even with the existence of their own CT teams.

Testing will also be done using pooled method and antigen.

Quarantine protocols should also be improved to be more effective.

It was agreed that the companies will be subjected to random and surprise inspection by the City Sanitation team.

Other key agreements were for the call center companies to update their human resource database, to have their employees register with StaySafe and Baguio in my Pocket applications for easier contact tracing.

Compliance with all the accords will be monitored by the City Mayor’s Office through the Permits and Licensing Division and the Management Information Technology Division and the City Health Services Office through the Sanitation Division.

The clustering of cases in the BPO propelled the city’s COVID daily case record to new highs.

Cases shot up to 118 last March 3 and to 130 on March 4 due to BPO cases discovered as a result of aggressive community testing.

Mayor Benjie Magalong on March 3 said more cases are expected as contact tracing and expanded testing operations continue on said workers.

In one company alone, a total of 500 were to undergo testing that day. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

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