MANILA— The Quezon City government has filed a complaint against a Manila-based recruitment agency for allegedly violating health protocols after transporting an overseas Filipino worker with COVID-19 to the city without knowledge of local authorities.
Speaking to ANC Tuesday, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said it was a "clear-cut case of negligence" on the part of the manning agency.
"I think that this is grave negligence and the city didn’t hesitate to file charges," she said. "This is really just to send the message that we will not tolerate this kind of behavior in our city."
The migrant worker, who was found out to have the UK COVID-19 variant, was transferred to an apartment in Barangay Commonwealth without informing city authorities.
Some 350 people have been tracked down as possible contacts of the patient, of which over 200 underwent swab testing.
Two of those tested are found to have contracted the virus. Results of genome sequencing to determine if they have the UK COVID-19 variant have yet to be released.
"Can you imagine that much resources being spent on one person just because protocols were not followed?" Belmonte said.
Under Republic Act 11332 or Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, non-cooperation of the person or entities identified as having the notifiable disease or affected by the health event of public concern is punishable.
Violators could face fines of up to P50,000 or a jail term of not more than 6 months or both.
As of Feb. 21, Quezon City has recorded 31,912 coronavirus infections, data from the city's health department showed. The city's tally includes 30,150 recoveries, 929 active cases and 833 fatalities.