DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 31 Aug) – A health official of the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao said on Tuesday that eating together in workplaces has been seen as a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) “super spreader.”
During a virtual press briefer via Zoom, Dr. Rachel Joy Pasion, head of DOH-Davao’s Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit, said that the employees tend to lower their guard against the highly infectious COVID-19 when they gather with co-workers during meals.
“It’s really part of our habit as Filipinos that we would like to eat together and chitchat,” she said.
Pasion said that minimum public health standards are possibly violated when workers eat together, considered a gathering according to the Occupational Safety and Health Manual of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
“It’s an activity that entails gathering. It’s gathering because you go to that place, you take off your mask, eat, and talk,” she said.
Pasion urged the public to keep observing the basic health protocols and always keep a safe distance from other people.
“Even if we know that person, we really don’t know if that person has COVID-19 or not, up until the RT-PCR [reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction] test is presented,” she said.
She admitted that there are establishments that don’t properly enforce the minimum public health standards. Pasion stressed that DOH-Davao’s sanitary inspectors, in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry and DOLE, are monitoring the establishments to know what possible violations are committed.
As of Aug. 30, DOH-Davao reported that there have been a total of 2,403,770 doses of anti-COVID-19 vaccines received, of which 868,567 had been administered for the first dose and 488,732 for second dose. There were also 137,450 doses of the single-dose Janssen administered as of Monday.
Of the 755,270 listed as eligible population for the A4 category (essential workers), 304,484 were vaccinated with first dose and 107,259 with second dose, according to Pasion.
As of Monday, DOH-Davao reported 68,261 cases with 11,773 active, 54,336 recoveries, and 2,152 deaths.
Out of the total cases, Davao City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mindanao, logged 37,367 cases with 5,199 active, 30,973 recoveries and 1,195 deaths. Davao de Oro tallied 4,771 cases, Davao del Norte with 12,327, Davao del Sur with 6,657, Davao Occidental with 1,917, and Davao Oriental with 5,222. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)