Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has ordered an investigation into failure of some companies to inform the city’s health department of alleged positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in their workplace.
She said hotels booked by the Bureau of Quarantine as host for COVID-19 positive patients must also report to the city, otherwise they could be held liable under Republic Act 11332.
“We call on all companies, business establishments, private subdivisions and condominiums in the city to cooperate with us in our efforts to combat the disease as well as maintain a safe environment by following all health protocols," she said.
The city government is also looking into reports that some of them have not complied with standard health protocols, such as the use of thermal scanners and the observance of social distancing and mass gathering directives.
According to Dr. Rolando Cruz, head of the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU), these firms were reported by concerned citizens through the unit’s contact tracing hotline and e-mail.
“We have sent these firms a letter requiring them to cooperate with us during our investigation, and to provide us with documents that will clearly tell us the health status of their employees,” she said.
The firms have been given 24 hours to answer the communication sent by CESU, after which an on-site investigation and contact tracing will be conducted.
Belmonte said these firms shall face penalties and other corresponding charges for violation of the law.
City legal officer Nino Casimiro said law mandated public health authorities to ensure mandatory reporting of notifiable diseases and health events of public health concern.
“Any breach of protocol will make you liable under the law for endangering the health and lives of your employees, and of the neighboring communities,” he said.
Cruz, for his part, urged citizens to report erring companies through the contact tracing hotlines 8703-2759, 8703-4398, 0916-1228628, 0908-6398086, 0931-0957737; or via email at [email protected]
and [email protected]
The hotlines are open from Monday to Saturday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.