QC advises gov’t offices to implement ‘work-from-home’ scheme during Lenten week

Marje Pelayo   •   March 26, 2021   •   554

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City government is calling on national government offices within its jurisdiction to implement a “work-from-home” scheme for the duration of the Lenten week to help arrest the surge of COVID-19 cases.

Mayor Joy Belmonte stressed the local government unit (LGU) is aiming to limit mobility within the next nine days to contain the spread of the virus.

“During this time frame, we hope to reduce the number of infections significantly, thus easing the burden on our healthcare system and our medical frontliners who are tirelessly working 24/7,” she said.

The city government plans to reduce the workforce and if possible, make it even lower than the government mandate of 30 to 50 percent.

Based on their contact tracing, Dr. Rolly Cruz of the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) 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.

Since January 1, CESU has recorded a total of 310 COVID-19 cases in about 30 national government offices in Quezon City.

As of March 24, one hundred ninety-two (192) of the 310 cases are active.

QC gov’t urges pregnant women to get COVID-19 jab

Marje Pelayo   •   September 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City government is encouraging pregnant women in the city to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as they are part of the expanded A3 priority group.

Experts stressed that vaccination is safe for pregnant women during their fourth to ninth month of pregnancy.

However, those who are in their first trimester of the first three months from conception must present a medical clearance from their personal doctors before getting inoculated.

The city government’s latest schedule for pregnant women is on Monday and Tuesday (September 27 -28).

The city government advised concerned parties to log in to https://qceservices.quezoncity.gov.ph/qcvaxeasy to register or visit the QC government’s official Facebook page for more updates.

Davao City enforces mandatory WFH, skeleton workforce setup in all gov’t offices

Robie de Guzman   •   September 9, 2021

The Davao City government has ordered the implementation of a fully operational work-from-home (WFH) and skeleton workforce arrangement in all government offices based in the city.

Under Executive Order No. 44, Mayor Sara Duterte ordered the enforcement of the policy from Sept. 8 to 26 due to the massive surge of COVID-19 infections.

The Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) and other private hospitals have reached full capacity with all kinds of patients, including COVID-19 cases.

“The Health Group of the Response Cluster of the Davao COVID-19 Task Force recommended to put essential workers on a work-from-home arrangement,” Mayor Sara said in a statement, adding that the recommendation was modified to be mandatory for government offices only so as not to disrupt businesses and private offices.

She, however, said that the WFH and skeleton workforce arrangement may be voluntarily adopted by private offices and establishments.

Mayor Sara also underscored that the policy must not delay the delivery of government services.

“All offices must create a system wherein government service is accessible to all those in need despite the WFH and skeleton workforce arrangement,” she said.

Offices should have online platforms where clients can access and direct their queries, with a real-time feedback response system, she added.

The order also states that all meetings involving government offices shall use online platforms and that all meetings of more than five attendees are prohibited.

Exempted from the directive are personnel working in the vaccination program, COVID-19 response, solid waste management program, implementation projects, and emergency response.

E.O. 44 also provides that all disaster and social services personnel may also adopt a WFH arrangement, provided that they are on-call and on a shifting arrangement 24 hours a day.

QC adds beds in Hope facilities amid rise of COVID-19 cases among children

Maris Federez   •   August 13, 2021

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The Quezon City government has expanded its Hope community care facilities to accommodate more children who tested positive for COVID-19 as well as their families or guardian.

Quezon City Health Department chief Dr. Esperanza Arias said the local government recently procured additional beds, oxygen tanks, and medicines for all the city’s 11 COVID-19 facilities.

Arias said the city is adding “family rooms” across all Hope facilities. This is to accommodate more COVID-positive children as well as their families who may also be COVID positive or their guardians who will look after them.

“We’re adding more family rooms to avoid children being separated from their families. We want to provide optimum care and take into account the psychological wellbeing of these children as well,” said Arias, noting that only Hope 3 and 6 had family rooms in the past.

Meanwhile, the QC government is recruiting more staff as the opening of three more Hope facilities is underway.

Data from the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) showed that nine percent or 318 of COVID-19 cases recorded between August 1 and 7 were children aged 17 and below.

Five percent or 169 are aged 0 to 11, while four percent or 149 come from the 12 to 17-year age group.

The report also said that the total number of cases during this period is 293 percent higher than that of the July 1 to 7 data with 81 recorded positive cases.

“One factor that causes these infections among children could be the improper way by which COVID-positive adults quarantine themselves. There are those who stay at home and do not self-report to CESU,” said CESU Chief Dr. Rolando Cruz.

The local government has recently issued guidelines that strictly prohibit home quarantine for confirmed COVID-19 cases and symptomatic close-contacts.

The guidelines stipulated that these cases must be transferred to the city’s hospitals, Hope community caring facilities, barangay isolation facilities, or national government-accredited isolation hotels.

“We’re continuously ramping up our contact tracing efforts so every household will be safe, especially young children who are not yet able to follow minimum health protocols on their own,” Cruz said.

“But ultimately, we need everyone’s cooperation. We are appealing to anyone who is experiencing symptoms to please inform CESU immediately,” he added.

CESU can be reached through its official Facebook page and QC Contact Tracing hotlines 8703-2759, 8703-4398, 0916-122-8628, 0908-639-8086, and 0931-095-7737.

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