QC govt urges agencies to ‘work from home’

NATIONAL government offices located in Quezon City must consider implementing a work-from-home scheme starting Holy Monday until Easter Sunday to help arrest the surge in Covid-19 cases, Mayor Josefina “Joy” Belmonte said on Friday.

Quezon City Mayor Josefina ‘Joy’ Belmonte. PHOTO BY JOHN ORVEN VERDOTE

“Our target is to limit the mobility of people in the next nine days. As much as possible, we want everyone to stay home to contain the spread of Covid-19,” Belmonte said.

During this time frame, Belmonte is confident that the number of infections would be reduced significantly to ease the burden on the city government’s healthcare system and medical frontliners who are tirelessly working 24/7.

Based on records from the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU), a total of 310 Covid-19 cases in about 30 national government offices in the city were reported since January 2021 with 192 of them active as of March 24.

CESU head Dr. Rolando Cruz said the direction was to reduce the workforce and if possible, make it even lower than the government mandate of 30 to 50 percent.

“We are hoping that this scheme would help arrest the surge of cases. If more people are at home rather than commuting to work or coming to their offices, then hopefully it can slow down the spread of the virus,” he said.

Based on their contact tracing, the CESU chief pointed out that a significant number of Covid-19 cases involve workers who got infected in the workplace and transmitted the virus to members of their household.

“What’s happening is that the worker gets the infection at the workplace where he/she eats and smoke cigarettes with co-workers without a face mask then he/she would transmit the virus to his family at home,” Cruz said.

“After a family member got infected, it would then lead to community transmission. If this happens, we would have no other choice but place an area under special concern lockdown to stop the virus from spreading further,” he added.

As of March 23, 2021, CESU said 487 out of 3,742 Covid-19 cases or 13.01 percent happened in workplaces while 985 or 26.35 percent took place in households.