Over 10,000 state workers infected with COVID-19
Robertzon Ramirez, Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - August 6, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has called on government agencies to strictly implement alternative work arrangements to limit physical interactions as the number of state workers infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 has breached 10,000.

Data released by the CSC showed that a total of 10,344 employees nationwide tested positive for COVID-19 as of yesterday.

At least 14,696 government workers are being monitored as probable COVID-19 carriers, according to CSC Commissioner Aileen Lizada.

Lizada said the figures were based on the reports received from CSC field offices.

Government offices in the National Capital Region recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases with 7,472 followed by Central Visayas region with 1,226 and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) with 676.

Calabarzon and Mimaropa have combined cases of 404 while Central Luzon logged 290 cases.

Because of the spike in the number of COVID-19 infections, 153 government offices nationwide went on lockdown. Of the number, 108 are located in Metro Manila.

By implementing alternative work arrangements, Lizada said the delivery of public services would remain unhampered despite the lockdowns.

Lizada cited CSC Memorandum Circular No. 10 issued on May 7.

Under the circular, government agencies may choose from four alternative work arrangements: work-from-home, skeleton workforce, four-day or compressed workweek and staggered working hours.

The CSC said government agencies may also adopt other work setup applicable to the agency considering the prevailing community quarantine in the area where it is located and the nature of work performed by employees.

State workers should also be given support mechanisms such as health and psychosocial interventions as well as personal protective equipment for frontline service providers and housing quarters.

Lizada said employees on mandatory quarantine are entitled to receive their salaries regardless of employment status.

Shuttle services

The CSC reminded government offices to provide transportation services to employees who would physically report to work amid the reimposition of modified enhanced community quarantine or MECQ in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

The commission made the appeal after photos of stranded workers hit the headlines during the first day of the reimposition of MECQ on Tuesday.

Lizada said they received reports that some government employees were being required to go to work without providing them shuttle services.

PCG recoveries

Meanwhile, at least 530 PCG employees have fully recovered from COVID-19, leaving the agency with 146 active cases from the total 676 as of Aug. 4.

PCG Commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr. said the 146 personnel are undergoing treatment in isolation facility of the agency.

No COVID-19 deaths were reported in the PCG.

Ursabia said the PCG maintains its personnel’s welfare by conducting swab tests twice a month.

The PCG will soon open its own P35-million COVID facility in Taguig.

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