PRRD urges malls, bazaars to ensure workers’ safety vs. Covid-19

PRRD urges malls, bazaars to ensure workers’ safety vs. Covid-19

President Rodrigo Duterte urged owners of malls, bazaars, and other shopping centers to ensure the health and safety of their workers once the general community quarantine (GCQ) or the “new normal” starts on May 1.

Iyong mga tindahan (Those stores), ‘yung mga (those) bazaars, mga malls — big or small — it behooves upon you to see to it that the workers are protected,” Duterte said in a televised public address on Monday night.

He said mall owners should also disinfect their workplaces and provide durable masks for their employees.

“The sanitation of the place must be guaranteed and that the employees are provided with durable and workable masks,” he said.

Duterte said since the government has granted the request for “non-leisure stores” in malls to partially open, they should also comply with quarantine protocols.

“When you asked us to open, we agreed but there are the protocols to be followed. Not immaculately clean but just sanitize it for Covid not to thrive,” he said.

Meanwhile, he also thanked Filipinos for following the guidelines under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) which will lapse on May 15.

Nagpapasalamat ako sa inyo for heeding the warnings of government na mag-quarantine kayo para maprotektahan ninyo ‘yung sarili ninyo at ‘yung kapwa tao ninyo (I am thanking you for heeding the warnings of government to observe quarantine to protect yourselves and others),” he said.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said the number of people accosted for quarantine violations went down by 45 percent after the police beefed up its crackdown on individuals defying the guidelines.

Modified quarantine

Once the ECQ ends, Duterte was hopeful that priority construction projects may resume under a “modified” quarantine.

“We might open partially — construction workers and things like that. You wait for the… Lalabas na ho, lalabas na ‘yung modified — modified ang ano natin quarantine (It will be released soon–the modified quarantine),” he said.

On Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the IATF-EID’s recommendations to extend the ECQ in high-risk areas for Covid-19 until May 15 and place the areas considered moderate-risk and low-risk of the coronavirus infections under GCQ from May 1 to 15.

Select workers in non-essential services are allowed to go to work, once areas that have low or moderate risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections are placed under GCQ.

Under the GCQ, non-leisure shops in malls operating in low-risk or moderate-risk areas are likewise allowed to resume their operations.

High-risk areas placed under ECQ until May 15 are Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Pangasinan, Benguet, Albay, Catanduanes, Davao del Norte, Davao City, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Antique, Iloilo, Cebu, and Cebu City.

Other areas classified as moderate-risk and low-risk of spreading Covid-19 were placed under GCQ. These areas are still subject to further evaluation.

If the infection rate does not progress, low-risk areas will no longer be placed under GCQ after May 15.

As of Monday, the Philippines has a total of 7,777 confirmed cases of Covid-19, 511 deaths, and 932 recoveries. By Azer Parrocha / (PNA)

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