QC doing contact tracing of employees possibly exposed to Joy Belmonte
MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City local government is doing contact tracing among city hall employees who may have encountered Mayor Joy Belmonte days ago after the local chief executive tested positive for the coronavirus disease.
Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (QCESU) chief Dr. Rolly Cruz said that city hall employees, especially those whose offices are located from the 3rd to the 14th floors, would be subjected to COVID-19 swab testings.
“We are currently doing contact tracing on all those who had direct contact with the mayor in the last few days,” Cruz said in a statement.
“Other people who had direct contact with the Mayor and the two other employees, including visitors, will also undergo swab testing. Employees who will be tested need to undergo home quarantine until results are released as part of the protocol,” he added.
Earlier, Belmonte announced that she has tested positive for the latest coronavirus strain despite being asymptomatic. The mayor noted that she might have contracted the virus while working and visiting health facilities — although she stressed that she does not regret anything and it was somewhat expected.
After her revelation, Belmonte said that her office and other common areas of the Quezon City Hall, has been temporarily closed for disinfection.
Meanwhile, QCESU said that the whole government would continue its operations as not all employees came in direct contact with the Mayor in the past few days. Likewise, the City Legal Department assured QC residents that Belmonte would continue to function as the mayor even under quarantine.
“The Honorable Mayor exhibits none of the symptoms of COVID-19 and remains fully able and committed to serving the City and its constituents,” Legal office chief Niño Casimiro said.
During the early stages of the pandemic’s outbreak in the country, Quezon City registered one of the highest cases nationwide, at one time accounting for almost 20 percent of the total confirmed cases and overall deaths.
Quezon City is also one of the Metro Manila cities noted by the Department of Health as an emerging COVID-19 hotspot, with a 34.5 percent growth rate in terms of cases. Other cities include Marikina, Muntinlupa, and Makati. With reports from Jim Mendoza, Trainee
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