Stoppage of construction with COVID-19 cases in Baguio likely

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Construction activities in the city with confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases will be immediately suspended to pave the way for the conduct of effective and efficient contact tracing and prevent the further spread of the deadly virus among workers.

City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña issued a stern warning to contractors working in different project sites in the city that their activities will be immediately stopped once there will be confirmed COVID-19 cases among their workers when expanded targeted testing in their work stations will be done.

He pointed out the city government does not want a repeat of the previous incident where a confirmed COVID-19 patient who is a construction worker had been drinking with his fellow construction workers using only one glass that might have spread the deadly virus among them.

The city administrator claimed it will not only be the construction site where the confirmed COVID-19 case will be closed but it will also include the other workstations of the contractor whose worker turned positive on the expanded targeted testing.

Earlier, the city government mandated contractors with suspended projects in the city to first have their workers undergo the required medical check-up with the City Health Services Office (CHSO) for them to be given a clean bill of health before being issued the resume-to-work order after the downgrading of the city’s status to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

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Dela Peña underscored the construction workers who will be detected to have tuberculosis, pneumonia and other heart problems will not be issued a clean bill of health and will be removed from the list of construction workers of the contractors who will be allowed to go back to work in their work stations in the city.

Of the more than 2,000 construction workers that underwent medical examination with the CHSO, some 13 percent had tuberculosis, pneumonia and other heart ailments, that caused the non-issuance of their required medical certificates.

The city official disclosed the city government will continue to require all contractors of private and public works projects in the city to first subject their workers, especially those coming from other areas, to the mandatory medical check-up with the CHSO for the issuance of the clean bill of health before being allowed to go back to work in their project sites.

He added that surprise inspections will also be conducted by technical personnel of the city government to ascertain the compliance of the contractors and their workers to the prescribed health and safety protocols because city officials had been receiving numerous reports on the alleged failure of some contractors and their workers to observe physical distancing and the mandatory wearing of face masks in their project sites.

He revealed there are more than 100 private and public works projects in the city that had already been inspected by city officials on their compliance to health and safety standards since the downgrading of the status of the city to MGCQ where most of them have already resumed their work to prevent the occurrence of untoward incidents that will pose a serious threat to life and limb during the rainy season.

By Dexter A. See

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