The chief implementer of the government's COVID-19 response on Thursday disclosed that workplaces are most critical areas for COVID-19 infections as employees are supposedly not well-oriented with the minimum health protocols to fight the disease.
At a press briefing, Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. said spikes in COVID-19 cases could be attributed not only in transmission inside mass transport vehicles but also in common areas in workplaces such as canteens and smoking areas.
"We saw that the most critical areas right now is the workplace. 'Yung tinatawag nating mga economic hubs at the same time 'yung mga tinatawag nating industries, kasi nakita natin mukhang kulang pa ang orientation ng workers pertaining 'yung public safety at saka minimum health standards," Galvez said.
"Kahapon, we saw that there are grave violations in terms of observing 'yung minimum health standards, in terms of 'yung tinatawag na nag-e-establish sila ng canteen, 'yung kanilang tinatawag na mga... mayroon silang smoking areas... the source of contamination..." he added.
Galvez further said densely-populated areas could also be considered as critical areas as it is difficult to practice social distancing in these places. He noted that at present, COVID-19 contamination is per family.
"Sa pag-iikot natin sa different cities, nakita natin na ang most vulnerable or critical areas are those densely-populated areas especially 'yung mga poor communities na very vulnerable in terms of hindi sila makapag-social distancing considering that 'yung family nila nakatira sa medyo maliliit na bahay lamang," he said.
"Based doon sa data na nakita natin sa hospitals, ang contamination ngayon is not only by individuals, ngayon by families na. Nakita natin 'yung vulnerability talaga sa workplace at saka 'yung vulnerability ng mga informal communities na talagang hindi nag-o-observe ng minimum health standards," he added.
Latest tally from the Department of Health indicated that COVID-19 cases in the Philippines already hit 115,980, with 66,270 recoveries and 2,123 deaths.
The five areas with the highest number of new cases were Metro Manila with 2,434, Laguna with 105, Rizal with 101, Cavite with 73, and Cebu with 62.
The National Capital Region, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal were placed under MECQ from August 4 to 18.
Galvez then urged the media to help in changing the mindset and behavior of the public on COVID-19, noting that there is still a need for orientation about the disease.
"I encourage 'yung ating media practitioner na doon po natin i-focus 'yung ating paglaban sa COVID-19 on how we can change and influence our people na kailangan 'yung kailang support, na kailangan talaga 'yung orientation and education on health promotion and disease prevention," Galvez said. —LBG, GMA News