DSWD central office on lockdown amid 'spiraling' coronavirus cases

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
DSWD central office on lockdown amid 'spiraling' coronavirus cases
File photo shows the exterior of the DSWD central office.

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 3:47 p.m.) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development's central office along Batasan Road in Quezon City joins the list of government offices that have not been spared by the latest spike in coronavirus cases. 

According to separate memoranda obtained by Philstar.com, the DSWD will be implementing a "three-day lockdown to allow the Administrative Service to conduct disinfection/decontamination of the entire DSWD Central office."

The memos, one of which came from the Disaster Response Management Group of the DSWD Central Office COVID-19 Action Team, were confirmed by DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao to Philstar.com in a text message. 

The DRMG described the COVID-19 cases as "spiraling as of this time."

All employees will be on work-from-home arrangements on Friday, the memos said, while the conduct of antigen tests has been recommended for all of the office's personnel.

The memo from the DRMG also recommends that the office "reduce the clients to be served by the PMB-Crisis Intervention Unit in its payout inside the Central Office from Monday, March 22, until further notice. "

So far, 33 cases of the pathogen have been confirmed in the DSWD's central office, Dumlao said, adding that the department is "making arrangements for our CIU clients." 

National police scrambles, too

As the national government scrambles to enforce coronavirus protocols amid yet the spike, its own offices have fallen victim to the virus, too. 

The national headquarters of the Philippine National Police in Camp Crame has started restricting visitors until further notice, while one police station in Manila City was also put on lockdown. 

READ: PNP looks for more quarantine facilities as Crame personnel work from home

"PNP is part of the general population. The country, particularly Metro Manila is experiencing an upsurge of cases, and it's the same for us, especially being frontliners," Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP OIC, told reporters in a text message. 

Earlier Wednesday, the Department of Health recorded 4,387 cases of the coronavirus, marking the sixth straight day that the country reported more than 4,000 additional cases. 

It has been 366 days since enhanced community quarantine was first hoisted. The Philippines is still under the world's longest quarantine. 





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