GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The city government declared the suspension of work in all its offices on Wednesday (March 31), ahead of the Holy Week break as it raised concern over the increasing cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections in the area.
Mayor Ronnel Rivera said the move is to ensure the “safety and good health” of local government employees, and facilitate the necessary measures in all its offices and units.
He said they will use the early break to disinfect and do other interventions in all its buildings and premises.
“(This is) due to the sudden surge of Covid-19 cases,” Rivera said in his memorandum to city employees and department heads.
The mayor was referring to the increase in confirmed Covid-19 cases in the city in the last two weeks, with city government officials and employees among those infected.
As of Monday night, the confirmed Covid-19 cases in the city reached a total of 2,179, with 85 related deaths, and 2,001 or 91.8 percent recoveries.
The active cases increased by 42 in the last two weeks or from 51 last March 18 to 93 on March 29 based on reports from the City Health Office (CHO).
Last week, the operations and work at the legislative building, including the regular session of the city council, were suspended for several days after three city councilors came out positive of the disease.
A number of local government employees were also infected based on the profile of confirmed cases released by CHO.
Rivera advised all employees and department heads to use the extended break to “take care” of themselves in consonance with Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular No. 10, series of 2020.
He said the memorandum, which set the “Revised Interim Guidelines for Alternative Work Arrangements and Support Mechanisms for Workers in the Government” in line with the Covid-19 pandemic, includes provisions on psychosocial interventions for employees.
The mayor directed all local government offices and units to post notices on the work suspension within their premises to ensure that the public is properly informed.
He assured that the city government will continue to provide various essential services during the break through its front-line units.
This includes the city hospital, lying-in centers, central public market, civil security unit, city terminal, communications unit, traffic enforcement unit and the city disaster risk reduction and management office. (PNA)