For four months, Metro Manila and other provinces have been under community quarantine measures aimed at flattening the curve of COVID-19 infections, which has greatly affected the Philippine economy amid safety concerns.
Recently, the government has transitioned most cities in Metro Manila to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and other provinces to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).
Given this arrangement, various establishments are now allowed to operate, as long as they strictly adhere to the social distancing measures and disinfection protocols set by the government to prevent the further spread of this coronavirus.
Companies have come up with different ways to ensure employees’ safety while continuing to operate as productively as possible. As we slowly return to our workplace, the risk of contagion is ever present. Immediate steps and protocols to contain the virus’ spread must therefore be planned and documented in every site so that when an infection is detected, the next steps can be taken immediately to secure the safety and health of everyone.
The Department of Health (DOH) came up with a patient pathway for close contacts, suspect, probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases as per Department Memorandum 2020-0178: Interim Guidelines on Health Care Provider Networks during the COVID-19 Pandemic Annex A.
In the event that someone in the workplace is diagnosed as positive, here are the steps that can be taken to contain the spread of the virus:
- If the individual is still in the office premises:
The First 6 hours:
Within 24 Hours:
II. If the individual is no longer in the office premises:
The person shall:
a. Self-quarantine in a designated isolation room at home. Coordinate immediately with the family members, company, and the local government so that they can monitor the person and organize the transfer of the individual to the assigned isolation facility if the person’s house is not capable of isolating the positive individual.
b. Recall and remember people that he or she has been in contact with for the past 2 weeks and submit contact tracing list to DOH and the HR or office administrator.
c. Assess the symptoms of the individual if he or she is asymptomatic or with symptoms.
d. If the person is symptomatic, coordinate with DOH and wait for further instructions. The DOH will transport the individual to the designated health facility for monitoring and treatment.
Colliers View: What to expect in the coming months?
In this pandemic, proper coordination between the landlords and their respective tenants is essential so that the risk of transmission will be limited. Prevention is key while waiting for a vaccine, but we must take into consideration that if the virus is already present in our location, we must be prepared to take the necessary actions to ensure that everyone is safe. As the country gradually eases the quarantine, everyone should be mindful that the virus is still present. Urge everyone to always observe social distancing and to regularly disinfect surroundings and wash their hands properly.
Cases are continuously rising within the country and it is important to not be complacent as the risk of infection is still high. Health and safety should still be the utmost priority. Adapting to the new normal and being innovative in all aspects would greatly help in recovering amid this pandemic.