6 Cebu City establishments suspend operations due to COVID infections

Garganera lauds 'proactive' response from private sector

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | September 13,2020 - 05:06 PM

6 Cebu City establishments suspend operations due to COVID infections

Some of the skyscrapers of Cebu City. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

CEBU CITY, Philippines — At least six business establishments in Cebu City have suspended operations due to coronavirus infection, a local official here confirmed.

Cebu City Councilor and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) czar, Joel Garganera, told CDN Digital in a phone interview on Sunday, September 13, that workers from these establishments were recently found out to have been afflicted with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“For the time being, there are six establishments that have suspended their operations after their workers tested positive for COVID,” said Garganera.

But the city councilor lauded members of the city’s private sector on their ‘swift action’ to contain the spread of the virus.

“We deeply appreciate how the business community is so cooperative with us,” said Garganera, who also happened to be the deputy chief implementer of the Cebu City counterpart of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

“We commend the private sector as they took it upon themselves to immediately suspend their operations after one of their employees is confirmed to have COVID-19. They no longer wait for an official order from the city government,” he added.

Garganera, however, did not divulge specific details and information about the establishments which are now disinfecting their respective properties from the virus.

“We don’t have to name what establishments because we want to stress to the public that when you go out of your house, and you protect yourself, you’re also protecting others,” he explained.

It can be recalled that earlier this week, the city’s EOC announced that a bank suspended its operations after 12 of its employees were confirmed to have COVID-19.

READ MORE: 12 employees of Cebu City bank positive for COVID-19

Since Cebu City downgraded to the most relaxed form of community quarantine, local officials also warned the public that work-to-home transmission had slowly become the most prevalent source of new infections.

Mayor Edgardo Labella’s executive order (EO) mandates all business establishments to halt their operations if at least one of their workers tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19.

Businesses with COVID-19 positive employees will have to secure a clearance from the City Health Office before they will be allowed to resume operations.

Meanwhile, Garganera said all six establishments that had suspended their operations were complying with the requirements they needed before they could reopen.

“They are in close coordination with the EOC as well as the city’s Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO),” said Garganera.

Govt offices, too

On the other hand, anti-coronavirus officials in Cebu City have also started visiting government offices to ensure their workplaces are complying with minimum health standards.

Garganera said top officials from various government agencies expressed support on the city’s plans to implement measures designed to keep the transmission at manageable levels.

“This is why to designate a HIPCO (Health Infection and Prevention Control Office) in government offices is also important,” Garganera explained.

The HIPCO’s main task is to ensure compliance with health and safety protocols like social distancing and the wearing of face masks by both office personnel and clients.

READ MORE: EOC: Gov’t offices in Cebu City need health protocol officers

In its latest coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) bulletin, the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH -7) recorded 392 active cases of the infection in Cebu City as of September 12. They also documented a cumulative total of 9,720 cases in the city, with 8,667 recoveries and 661 mortalities. /dbs

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TAGS: COVID-19 in Cebu City, EOC, Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID), Joel Garganera

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