Business establishments will be required to provide an isolation room for workers who are showing symptoms of the coronavirus disease or have tested positive of the virus.
This measure will form part of a new health protocol in workplaces that will strengthen the minimum health standards in business establishments to be issued by the Departments of Trade and Industry (DTI), Labor and Employment (DOLE), and Health (DOH).
According to DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, the new guidelines will be in line with the government’s efforts to strengthen the isolation of Covid-19 positive individuals.
In an interview, Lopez further said that establishments will also be required to assign a health officer who will ensure that minimum health protocols are being implemented. A security officer, a nurse, or a doctor could be designated as a health officer. Attendance to health protocol training sessions will be required from the designated health officer.
The new health protocols will also provide a standard operating procedure (SOP) that will guide an establishment in cases when a worker shows symptoms of the virus.
Furthermore, workers who will have positive COVID-19 test results, either symptomatic or not, will also stay in the said isolation room.
Across the board
Compliance with the workplace health protocols is mandatory regardless of the state of community quarantine declared in a specific area.
However, small businesses who have no means of providing an isolation room or properly conduct the isolation measures may coordinate with their local government health response team for isolation measures.
“We need to further strengthen our safety protocols by having health protocol officers, more training, and reporting of cases, isolation rooms in factories, premises, and offices or arrangements in another area for the shared facility for affected workers to augment the government isolation quarters,” Lopez said.
Lopez likewise reiterated an earlier call of the medical professionals to use the PCR swab test, as the Rapid Test only determines the presence of antibodies in an individual, and not necessarily, the coronavirus.