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Full operation for businesses violates minimum health standards -UP research group member

A member of a research group from the University of the Philippines (UP) has warned against allowing businesses to resume operations at a 100% capacity, saying that it could compromise minimum health standards needed to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

Dr. Butch Ong of UP OCTA Research Team was responding to the suggestion of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez that certain business establishments in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) should be allowed to operate at a 100% capacity so people could earn income again and enjoy Christmas celebration.

Included in the industries identified by Lopez were: architecture, engineering, advertising, science and research development, publishing, music and TV production, film, legal, accounting, management consultancy, market research, computer programming, recruitment and overseas employment placement, photography, and wholesale and retail trade.

“We have to maintain minimum health standards, and that includes proper ventilations. At 100%, that [proper ventilation] cannot be guaranteed,” Ong said.

“If you are going 100% in a workplace where people are working closely with each other, there is regular interaction… in my opinion, it is not recommended right now,” Ong added.

On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the National Capital Region—the epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic in the country—will remain under GCQ.

GCQ protocol only allows partial resumption of business and public transport operation which is only at 50% at the maximum.

The Philippines has recorded 307,288 COVID-19 cases so far. Of this number, 252,665 recovered while 5,381 died.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in the country is at 49,242. -MDM, GMA News