Cluster of COVID-19 cases noted in 12 workplaces in Davao region
DAVAO CITY –– Health authorities here have confirmed a cluster of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in at least 12 establishments in the region.
Dr. Lenny Joy Rivera, DOH 11 assistant regional director, said 50 COVID-19 cases were recorded in 12 workplaces in the region, prompting health authorities to tighten health protocols in workplaces here.
“As reported to us, there are 12 work establishments which developed a cluster of cases inside their premises,” Rivera said. “A total of 50 cases were reported in these 12 work establishments, so an investigation is ongoing as to how many are asymptomatic and how many already have symptoms. Contact tracing has been stepped up,” she added.
Rivera said that while clustering of COVID-19 cases used to be so rampant only in the barangays, the loosening of the region’s quarantine measures to revive the economy also brought about the clustering of COVID-19 cases in workplaces.
She said health authorities had been working closely with the Department of Labor and Employment and the local government to ensure that health protocols are strictly followed in the workplace.
“We would like to inform work establishments to be strict in implementing the minimum health protocols because the clustering of cases in workplaces is escalating,” Rivera said.
The COVID-19 Interagency Task Force for the management of infectious diseases is not discounting the possibility of a surge of COVID-19 cases with the recent loosening up of quarantine measures in the country.
As part of its surge capacity plan in the region, DOH has asked private hospitals to allot 20 percent of their hospital beds for COVID-19 patients in case of a surge. Rivera said this would boost the existing hospital capacity for COVID-19 being served by the two government hospitals in the region; namely, the Southern Philippine Medical Center in Davao City and the Davao Region Medical Center in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
Rivera said the two hospitals that served as the top COVID-19 referral facilities in the region had been trying to provide 30 to 50 percent of their hospital beds for COVID-19 patients. “These government hospitals are already being maximized,” Rivera said.
She said private hospitals with whom the DOH had been having initial talks had readied their facilities in case of a surge.
But Rivera said the DOH would still be looking at the hospital utilization rate and the availability of mechanical ventilators before it could declare a surge, according to the IATF guidelines.
“If we are already on the warning zone and there are no other contingency plans, that’s the time we know there is a surge and should use other facilities (private hospitals),” she said.
She urged the public to strictly observe health protocols at all times.
“We should remember that everyone we encounter can be a probable carrier of the infection. So we should be extra careful and make sure we follow the minimum health protocols,” she said. “We should not be complacent,” she said.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.