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49 construction workers in Cebu test positive for COVID-19; isolated
It turned that 49 of those new cases involved construction workers who were working at a site at the boundary of Barangays Lahug and Apas. They were among the 130 to 160 construction workers swabbed after a co-worker tested positive for antigen test last week.

49 construction workers in Cebu test positive for COVID-19; isolated

Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - June 16, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu City, which had been keeping low COVID-19 figures for weeks, saw a sudden rise in the number of new infections – a total of 74 – on Monday, June 14.

It turned that 49 of those new cases involved construction workers who were working at a site at the boundary of Barangays Lahug and Apas. They were among the 130 to 160 construction workers swabbed after a co-worker tested positive for antigen test last week.

Councilor Joel Garganera said all 49 were extracted Monday night -- within four hours from the release of the positive line list -- by personnel from EOC and City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO). They were immediately brought to a barangay isolation center (BIC).

“It’s pretty fast because the construction company has their own HIPCO (Health and Infection Prevention and Control Officer) which we find easy to coordinate. They’re all close contacts and asymptomatic,” said Garganera.

Garganera said 47 of the 49 were city residents while two were from other local government units.

“Giusa ra nato diri sa Cebu, ang Mandaue, ang address ra gibutang but actual residing sa Cebu City. Gihurot nato og extract pero ang record sa Mandaue and Toledo,” he said.

Garganera said contact tracing is already ongoing, and the company has compartmentalized its workforce according to duty time, area of the construction site, bunkhouse etc. as measures installed in order not to cripple the entire operation.

As of Monday, the total number of active cases in the city is at 494 per EOC’s records.

Going Up

Garganera said in the past six days, the numbers of the active cases have gone up.

Based on the EOC data, they have recorded more “incidental findings” of COVID-19.

Garganera said these consist of patients submitting themselves to COVID-19 RT-PCR testing as a mandatory protocol of their companies, a requirement for traveling, hospital protocols, back to work requirement, etc.

“Possible sources of infection are everywhere. The places we go to everyday and the people we bumped into each day might possibly be carrying our enemy.  Much of these cases that came out positives are asymptomatic,” said Garganera.

“Moreover, they have confessed that lately they have lowered their guards. They have failed to practice the minimum health standards of COVID -19 both in public and in private areas. There was pandemic fatigue that pushes people to learn to be complacent,” he added.

Garganera reminded the public to remain vigilant as the ongoing fight against COVID-19 continues.

“Today, COVID is literally everywhere. Let us protect ourselves and our family. Let us NOT be complacent. Let us be mindful in every situation we are in,” he said.

“So, mao na among giawhag sa tanan sa pagkakaron, ang atong challenge nato diri sa Cebu is how to sustain the gains,” he added, stressing that the city is mindful of the fact neighboring provinces are experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Garganera advised all construction firms to not “lower your guards kay nahibaw an naman mo sa unsa ang epekto.”

He told them to revisit “every now and then” the basic protocols at all construction sites, as well as their bunkhouses. — Deogracia William Bemida, Silliman University Intern, JMD (FREEMAN)

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