More health protocols to be imposed in Cebu City supermarkets, groceries
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Residents in Cebu City are advised to brace themselves for longer queues and waiting time in supermarkets and groceries.
This developed after the Cebu City government has instructed the management of these establishments to implement additional measures designed to slow down the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) called a meeting on Monday, September 28 with representatives of supermarkets and groceries after they recently discovered that at least 30 people confirmed to have COVID-19 went or visited grocery stores and supermarkets in the past 14 days.
“I am aware that our supermarkets and groceries have been complying with the minimum health protocols but we must continue to re-evaluate and re-visit our protocols to check how we can improve it better,” said EOC Czar and Councilor Joel Garganera.
“Although it is not proven that there is actual transmission in supermarkets, there is still a high probability that supermarkets are one of the sources of infection,” he added.
The new rules which will soon be implemented in these establishments, on top of the health protocols mandated to them by the government, included streamlining contact tracing efforts, and strictly enforcing the prohibition of seniors and minors below 21 years old and the 50 percent maximum capacity.
The councilor also said supermarket managers and owners agreed to have marshalls stationed around their establishments to monitor compliance of health standards.
“We will be submitting this proposal for approval before the mayor,” added Garganera.
Data from the EOC showed that supermarkets, groceries, and the like have become the third-highest source of transmission, next to household and workplace transmissions.
Cebu City was downgraded to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) last September 1. /dbs
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