The number of COVID-19 infections across 30 national government offices in Quezon City since January 2021 climbed to 310 as of Wednesday, March 24, with 192 of them classified as active infections.
In a press release on Thursday, March 25, the Quezon City government renewed its call to national government agencies within its jurisdiction to employ a work-from-home scheme in the coming Holy Week from March 29 to April 4 to curb the spike in COVID-19 cases in the workplace.
The City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) said its goal was to reduce the workforce to even lower than the government mandate of 30 to 50 percent.
In a statement, CESU head Dr Rolly Cruz said that household transmissions of the coronavirus stemmed from infections that started in the workplace.
Cruz, citing data from CESU, said that 13% of COVID-19 infections in their jurisdiction were contracted in workplaces.
“Nakukuha ng isang empleyado sa opisina. Sabay-sabay kasi sila kumakain, magkakasamang nagyoyosi or nag-uusap minsan na walang mask dahil kampante na sa isa’t isa. Tapos mata-transmit niya sa bahay pag-uwi dahil walang health protocols na sinusunod sa bahay,” Cruz said.
(The employee gets the virus in the office. They eat or smoke together, talk to each other sometimes without masks. They would transmit the virus at home because they don’t observe health protocols there.)
A Rappler report on March 19, citing multiple sources, found that government offices themselves may have had lax enforcement of COVID-19 protocols.
Offices cited in the report are in Quezon City, namely the National Tobacco Administration, the Department of Agriculture, state-run television network PTV-4, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. – Rappler.com