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Galvez: Convergence spots like canteens 'very vulnerable' to COVID-19 contamination

Canteens, smoking areas, and other "spots of convergence" in workplaces were found to be sources of "great contamination" for the coronavirus, COVID-19 Task Force Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Thursday.

Workplaces, particularly in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal, were also guilty of a "great violation" of minimum health standards such as physical distancing,  the chief implementer of the country's pandemic response strategy said.

"We saw that the most critical areas right now are the workplace, in what we call economic hubs," Galvez Jr. said during the launch of the One Hospital Command in Makati City.

"We have these kind of (coronavirus case) spikes and we saw that mass transport and common areas where our workers eat are very vulnerable," he added.

Workers also lacked orientation in terms of minimum health standards, Galvez said.

COVID-19 testing czar Vince Dizon said the government would use the current two-week strict lockdown that started August 3 to recalibrate its pandemic response strategy.

"We are strengthening testing and tracing in communities," he said at the same event.

In June, the government eased to a general community quarantine (GCQ) in most parts of the country to resuscitate the economy flattened by the pandemic.

COVID-19 infections, however, surged with the easing of lockdowns, with the Philippines tallying over 115,000 cases as of Wednesday.

The spike in infections prompted health workers to plead for a "time out," a call that President Rodrigo Duterte heeded by reverting the Metro Manila and the nearby four provinces to a stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) for a fortnight.

Topics: COVID-19 , Philippines , Coronavirus , Carlito Galvez Jr , MECQ , Infections
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