Shipping lines’ health staff undergo COVID-19 training

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - November 27, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Health infectious prevention control officers (HIPCO) of shipping lines and other establishments in Cebu City had the chance to update their skills as the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) conducted training in a bid to improve their COVID-19 response.

The training came on the heels of several reported COVID cases among crew members.

Although the infected crew members are not residents of Cebu City, the EOC deemed it necessary for the shipping lines to closely coordinate with them since they are docked at the city ports.

“The goal is to have HIPCOs to all vessels, may it be passenger or cargoes,” said City Councilor and EOC deputy chief implementer Joel Garganera.

Garganera said HIPCOs are very vital in coordination and contact tracing, as well as in the implementation of interventions to contain the spread of the virus.

“The purpose of which is for easy access and coordination for EOC contact tracing and interventions to the crews and passengers even if they’re not within Cebu City jurisdiction,” he said.

After the training of shipping lines’ HIPCOs, the EOC plans to train all HIPCOs of malls, arcades and other areas with heavy foot traffic.

“Next move is to have all operators/management of malls, arcades, and the likes were foot traffic is high to have its own HIPCOs to oversee the compliance of the health protocols to all its store tenants and coordinate closely with EOC in case of intervention like contact tracing, swabbing and segmented lockdowns,” added Garganera.

EOC records showed that the city has eight additional cases and a positivity rate of 78 percent out of the 1023 tested based on the latest case bulletin.

The city has 314 active cases.

Per EOC’s own monitoring, the cases come from 41 barangays with 182 of them isolated at the NOAH Complex and 20 at the IEC3.

On the other hand, 31 others are admitted  at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center and 77 others in different hospitals and quarantine facilities. — KQD (FREEMAN)

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