COVID-19 closed down some government offices; DOH says cases peaked anew

by Jet Hitosis
Mar 17, 2021
DOLE, GSIS, PTV, NAPOLCOM, COVID-19
The Department of Labor and Employment's (DOLE) main office (left) in Manila imposes a sudden lockdown on March 17 after three of its employees contracted COVID-19. The head office of Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) in Pasay City has been closed down since March 12 after some of its employees tested positive for the virus.
PHOTO/S: DOLE, GSIS on Facebook

Dahil sa pagpopositibo sa COVID-19 ng ilang empleyado, pansamantalang nagtigil-operasyon ang ilang tanggapan ng gobyerno ngayong Miyerkules, March 17.

Ang mga ito ay ang People’s Television Network (PTV) sa Quezon City, ang main office ng Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) sa Maynila, ang National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) central office sa Quezon City, at ang Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) head office sa Pasay City.

PTV

Hindi umere ang PTV ngayong Miyerkules dahil kinailangang isailalim sa “extensive and thorough disinfection” ang buong head office nito dahil sa “rising COVID-19 cases in the country.”

Sinabi ng PTV na magbabalik ang broadcast operations nito bukas, Huwebes, March 18, bagamat ang flagship programs ng network ay sa Lunes, March 22, pa magre-resume.

“The network’s flagship programs, Public Briefing #LagingHandaPH and Ulat Bayan will be back on air on Monday, 22 March 2021. A full resumption of regular programming will be announced separately,” saad sa official statement ng PTV4 ngayong Miyerkules.

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Ayon sa Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), nasa 23 ang aktibong kaso ng COVID-19 sa PTV.

DOLE

Isinailalim sa lockdown, bandang 2:00 ng hapon ngayong Miyerkules, ang main office ng DOLE sa Intramuros, Manila.

Sa lingguhang press briefing, sinabi ni Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III na tatlong empleyado ng DOLE ang nagpositibo sa virus.

Dahil dito, sumailalim si Bello sa reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test at negatibo raw ang resulta nito.

Sa Biyernes, March 19, magbabalik-serbisyo ang DOLE main office.

NAPOLCOM

Three-day lockdown naman ang ipatutupad sa opisina ng NAPOLCOM sa EDSA corner Quezon Avenue sa Barangay West Triangle, Quezon City, simula ngayong Miyerkules.

Nangangahulugang sarado ang NAPOLCOM office hanggang sa Biyernes.

Sa public advisory ng NAPOLCOM, kinumpirma nitong “some employees” ang dinapuan din ng COVID-19.

Bagamat nasa work-from-home set-up daw ang mga empleyado ng komisyon, “a receiving personnel from the NAPOLCOM Personnel and Administrative Service will be stationed at the Ground Floor lobby to receive your documents [for filing].”

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Sa Lunes na ang balik-operasyon ng NAPOLCOM.

NAPOLCOM advisory

GSIS

Samantala, mananatiling sarado ang head office ng GSIS hanggang sa Biyernes, at sa Lunes na magre-resume ng operations.

March 12 pa isinara ang GSIS matapos na 80 empleyado nito ang tamaan ng COVID-19, ayon sa media reports.

“GSIS will still provide uninterrupted service as all our systems and processes are computerized and our personnel are equipped to work remotely,” saad sa GSIS advisory.

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Pinapayuhan ang lahat ng GSIS pensioners na i-schedule ang kanilang annual pensioners’ information revalidation (APIR) sa pamamagitan ng text o email.

COVID-19 CASES PEAKED ONCE MORE

Kaugnay nito, sinabi ni Dr. Alethea de Guzman ng Department of Health-Epidemiology Bureau na ang peak level ng mga naitatalang kaso ng COVID-19 sa nakalipas na mga araw ay pumantay na sa nai-record noong July 2020.

“Yesterday [March 16], it is now at same peak. Ibig sabihin, kung gaano karami yung nagiging pinakamataas na dami ng pagkakasakit last July, now it is at the same [level],” sinabi ni De Guzman sa media forum.

“Kung dati nagre-report lang tayo, nung simula ng Enero [2021] at around 1,000 cases, napansin niyo naman siguro na on the average, we are reporting at an average of 3,000 cases already.

“What we are reporting for the first two weeks of March were 2.5 times higher than what we reported in January,” ani De Guzman.

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Paglilinaw ni De Guzman, hindi lang ang mga bagong COVID-19 variants ang dapat sisihin sa mabilisang pagkalat ngayon ng virus.

“Nakaka-contribute talaga itong mga variants of concern doon sa napakabilis na pagtaas ng kaso natin, because that is the inherent characteristics of the variant: increased transmissibility.

“Pero kahit wala pa tayong nakikita pang mga variants of concern sa mga maraming lugar sa Pilipinas, talagang mayroong pagtaas ng kaso dito sa iba’t ibang rehiyon, probinsiya, siyudad, munisipyo natin.

“Ibig sabihin, hindi lamang variants of concern ang dahilan ng pagtaas,” ani De Guzman.

Ayon kay De Guzman, pinakamahalaga pa rin ang ibayong pag-iingat sa pamamagitan ng pagtupad sa minimum public health standards sa loob man at labas ng bahay.

“At the end of the day, it is really our adherence to all of these minimum public health standards na nagiging driver bakit tuluy-tuloy at mabilis pagtaas ng kaso.

“It is how fast we are doing the contact tracing, how well we are isolating people, and people submitting themselves na magpatingin na agad,” sabi pa ni De Guzman.

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Sa latest data ng DOH ngayong Miyerkules, nakapagtala ito ng 4,387 bagong nahawahan ng COVID-19.

Sa kabuuan, sumampa na sa 635,698 ang total confirmed cases sa bansa.

Sa bilang na ito, 61,733 ang kasalukuyang ginagamot sa COVID-19, habang 12,866 na ang pumanaw dahil sa virus.

DOH COVID-19 cases as of March 17, 2021

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The Department of Labor and Employment's (DOLE) main office (left) in Manila imposes a sudden lockdown on March 17 after three of its employees contracted COVID-19. The head office of Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) in Pasay City has been closed down since March 12 after some of its employees tested positive for the virus.
PHOTO/S: DOLE, GSIS on Facebook
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