MANILA - A public health expert on Thursday said private and public institutions should offer some financial assistance to employees affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.
Dr. Susan Mercado, on ANC's Headstart, said the assistance which could be in the form of a loan or additional sick leave benefits would give some relief to workers who worry about the possible economic losses when they are required to undergo self-quarantine.
"The reason why people would not go into self-quarantine even if they know they may have an exposure is because they are afraid to lose income," Mercado said.
With the COVID-19 outbreak now declared a pandemic, Mercado said the disease is not going away, and that people need to start preparing for self-quarantine to somehow disrupt its transmission.
But Mercado said being under quarantine gives that sense of anxiety to workers who not only fear the disease but also are worried about the well-being of their families.
"That is a very real and serious concern and we need to address that," she said.
Meanwhile, Mercado stressed the importance of proper hygiene and social distancing to help prevent the further spread of the virus.
"It requires human interaction, that's why social distancing, suspension of classes, self-quarantine whatever it is were going to do in the future is a way of limiting human beings' interaction with another human being," she said.
The Philippines confirmed on Wednesday 49 cases of the disease and 2 deaths, including the first Filipino COVID-19 fatality.