Baguio reports clustering of COVID cases in gov’t offices

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The City Health Services Office (CHSO) reported the presence of clustering of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in government offices aside from the earlier clustering of similar cases in various business establishments in the city.

City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo pointed out the need for the workplaces to embrace the so-called ‘SAPAT’ DAPAT an acronym for the assignment of safety and health officer in every workplace; air circulation and ventilation in said places; physical distancing at least 1 to 2 meters apart; always wear face mask and shield and time interaction should be limited to less than 15 minutes.

Further, she stated that offices and establishments may opt for alternate work arrangement to help in discouraging prolonged face-to-face interaction between workers and clients.

Galpo advised workers to ensure that their office tables should be arranged with physical distancing and that barriers could be installed when applicable to the existing situation.

Aside from the strict adherence to physical distancing at all times, the city health officer stipulated that there should always be a limited number of people inside the rooms at a time to prevent the possible spread of the virus among them.

According to her, among the measures that could be put in place to prevent rapid transmission of the virus include spray alcohol or sanitizer to both hands and provide disinfectants and foot baths at the entrance if practicable; equipment or vehicle entering the hub operational area must go through the disinfection process; and if there will be long queue outside the office or store premises, roving officers should instill physical distancing of 1 meter

Moreover, Galpo emphasized that frequently touched surfaces such as door knobs and handles should be disinfected every 2 hours apart from the fact that all workplaces should be disinfected every time workers leave.

She disclosed that all wash rooms and toilets should have sufficient clean water and soap and that sanitizers should be made available on corridors, stairways, elevators and areas where workers pass.

More importantly, Galpo reminded workers to boost their immune system by eating nutritious and well-cooked food, drink plenty of fluids, have adequate sleep at least 8 hours a day and exercising regularly and provide referral for workers needing counseling or presenting with mental health concern.

The offices that recorded COVID cases are the City Health Services office – 23, Department of “Agriculture – Cordillera – 9, Department of Social Welfare and Development – 6, City General Services office and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group – 4 each, Department of Labor and Employment and City Mayor’s Office – 3 each and City DILG office, Public Order and Safety Division, City Council, Department of Public works and Highways, City Environment and Parks management Office and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency – 2 each.

In the case of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), the various stations and offices that reported COVID cases were Station No.7 – 8, City Mobile Force Company and Station No. 1 – 6 cases each, Station No. 10, Station No. 5 and Station No. 9 – 5 cases each, BCPO command center – 4, Station No. 4 and Tourist Police Unit – 3 cases each and Station No. 8 – 2. By Dexter A. See

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