Rise in COVID cases in construction sites worries Cebu City officials
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Local officials in Cebu City will be meeting with construction experts and officials as they race to address the rising number of construction workers who test positive for the new coronavirus.
Councilor Joel Garganera, who leads the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said they recently discovered 15 construction workers staying at a barracks in Barangay Lahug, who were confirmed to have the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“Five days ago, we have 15 (COVID-19)-positive construction workers in (Barangay) Lahug,” said Garganera in a series of messages sent to reporters on Sunday, September 20.
Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the Cebu City counterpart of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), also said all 15 employees happened to live in a single bunkhouse.
Data from the EOC also revealed that initially, there were four employees working in different construction sites in Cebu City, who recently tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19.
Based on the same report, the number, however, increased to 20 as of September 18, 2020, when contact tracing was implemented.
A total of 124 close contacts, including family members, were identified from the first four workers afflicted with COVID-19, and immediately underwent swab tests and placed under isolation, the EOC noted.
Of this figure, 16 were confirmed positive for COVID-19, 59 others tested negative, and 49 more were awaiting their test results as of Sunday.
These developments prompted the city’s anti-coronavirus task force to call for a meeting with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Cebu City Engineer, and the Cebu Contractors Association.
The meeting will take place this Monday, September 21, 2020, Garganera said.
“We will be meeting with DPWH, City Engineer, and the Cebu Contractors Association to discuss matters on construction sites and its workers… We need to define its (construction site) health and safety protocols, may it be public or private construction (sites),” said Garganera.
“We need to know the culture of these construction workers, who by the way are mostly non-Cebu City residents,” he added.
The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH- 7) has already documented a total of 9,881 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cebu City as Saturday, September 19.
Comprising around 89.5 percent of this figure, or 8,839 out of 9,881, have already recovered while 665 passed away. This meant that the city’s active cases remained at 385.
The IATF-MEID, the national government’s anti-coronavirus task force, has placed Cebu City under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) since September 1. /dbs
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.