Quezon City justice hall, annex closed due to COVID-19
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - July 11, 2020 - 12:00am

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The Quezon City Hall of Justice main and annex buildings have been ordered temporarily closed after four court officers and employees tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Mayor Joy Belmonte, in her letter to Executive Judges Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert and Ace Alagar, said the decision was based on the recommendation of the city’s epidemiological and disease surveillance unit (ESU).

She said the move is in accordance with a circular issued by the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), which authorizes local government units to impose lockdowns in city halls wherein courts are located.

Belmonte also cited a provision of Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act that authorizes health personnel to enforce measures during the epidemic or outbreak to prevent spread of a disease.

The closure would last seven days or until health officials complete the appropriate testing and containment measures.

Belmonte said the city government is in constant coordination with OCA and the executive judges with regard to testing and health monitoring of court personnel.

ESU head Rolly Cruz said they would conduct exhaustive contact tracing of all those who were in close contact with the court officers and employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Follow-up testing would also be conducted as necessary, he added.

The city’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office started the thorough surface disinfection and misting of the whole city hall complex, including the Hall of Justice buildings.

The disinfection began on Thursday and would last until tomorrow.

As of Thursday, the Department of Health said there are 4,141 confirmed cases in Quezon City, with local health officials completing validation of 4,005 cases.

There are 1,453 active cases, 2,302 recoveries and 250 deaths.

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