Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso on Sunday, 2 August, approved the request of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) to have its staffers undergo a 14-day quarantine as confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the university.
Domagoso also approved the request of PLM to lock down the campus during the quarantine period.
PLM, through its COVID-19 Task Force, made the request to the mayor following an emergency meeting on “rising active, probable and suspected cases within the campus.”
“There are currently four confirmed cases, with two recovered patients and one fatality among employees. There are also three probable and one suspect cases,” PLM President Emmanuel Leyco said in a statement.
“University officials are monitoring their situation as well as that of their close contacts. While records do not suggest that there is community transmission in campus, PLM is taking these steps as precautionary measures,” Leyco added.
Following the approval of the city mayor, PLM will be adopting a strict work-from-home arrangement for employees for the next two weeks to slow down the possible spread of COVID-19 infections.
Leyco said the two-week quarantine and campus lockdown is a “prompt response to the call of health care workers for a timeout to give them breathing room after months of manning the front lines of the local COVID-19 fight.”
“As a University which produces doctors, nurses and medical professionals, we believe it is necessary to respond to the public health crisis by listening to science and the inputs of medical experts,” Leyco said.
“We are taking this two-week timeout as an extra precaution as we acknowledge the current health situation in our campus, in the City of Manila, and in the country. We are hoping that in our own way, we can prevent further COVID-19 infections within our community,” he said.
During the two-week lockdown, Leyco said only employees who are “highly essential and (who) cannot bring home their workload” such as IT and server maintenance staff, disinfection and sanitation crew, and security personnel will be allowed inside the campus.
“As practiced, visitors are not allowed to enter campus grounds. Document submissions will be accepted as deliveries,” Leyco said.
“All transactions will be carried out fully online in the next two weeks, including the registration period for freshmen which starts August 3. Other requirements and processes will have to be coursed through e-mail with respective departments and offices concerned,” he said.
To recall, Domagoso approved the request of the Ospital ng Maynila to order a temporary closure of the facility after more hospital workers have been infected with COVID-19.