DOH releases back to work guidelines under modified quarantines


Posted at May 19 2020 03:15 PM


DOH releases back to work guidelines under modified quarantines 1
A pedestrian crosses a footbridge at the corner of Congressional Avenue and EDSA in Quezon City on the first working day of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) on May 18, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) has issued guidelines for those who will be returning to work in areas under loosened quarantine measures, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Lockdown measures in Metro Manila, Laguna, and several parts of Central Luzon were dialed down to a modified enhanced community quarantine from Saturday after 2 months of restrictions shuttered most businesses and led to the first economic contraction in 22 years.

Under the guidelines, employers must comply with the following:

  •  Ensure the workspace is properly disinfected, ventilated, and maintained
  •  Monitor and record employees' temperatures and symptoms daily
  •  Adopt and implement alternative working arrangements
  •  Enforce infection control procedures (wearing of masks, hand hygiene, cough etiquette)
  •  Screen returning workers physically returning to the workplace for symptoms of COVID-19
  •  Establish referral network for employees who will develop symptoms
  •  Promote physical and mental resilience among workers

Workers who are symptomatic, with history of travel or exposure to the disease, on the date of work resumption are not allowed to physically return to work and must consult with the company's primary care provider, according to the DOH.

Those who experienced symptoms in the last 14 days prior to their date of work resumption must present certification of quarantine completion, it said.

The agency earlier said coronavirus testing was required only to persons exhibiting symptoms.

Employers may test a representative sample of workers, based on those who are at high-risk of contracting COVID-19 due to their nature of work such as frontliners, the DOH said.

They may also screen using rapid anti-body test kits approved by the Food and Drug Administration every 14 days, it added.

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) will cover the cost of coronavirus testing using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, while employers will shoulder the costs of rapid anti-body test kits, Roque said.