MCWD employees ‘forced to work’ despite confirmed Covid-19 cases in office

EMPLOYEES of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) were allegedly forced to report back to work amid the death of one of its employees due to Covid-19 and the finding that six other employees had tested positive for the virus.

But lawyer Jose Daluz III, MCWD board chairman, clarified that the employees were not forced to report back to work, but instead, advised to take the rapid diagnostic test at the MCWD Family Park in Brgy. Talamban, Cebu City.

Some MCWD employees turned to social media on Monday, June 15, 2020, expressing their concerns about being advised to report back to work at their main office despite the reported Covid-19 cases among some of its employees.

The MCWD released an advisory on June 14 that its main office at corner Lapu-Lapu St. and Magallanes St., Cebu City would be closed from June 15 until further notice. (Related story on Page 4.)

The temporary closure of the building is to give way to disinfection and sanitation, as well as rapid diagnostic testing and contact tracing among its employees.

After learning about the advisory that the MCWD building would be closed starting June 15, Daluz appealed to the other MCWD officials to have a plan, instead of closing the building indefinitely.

“We have to have a sense of direction. We have to have a plan and not just close it until further notice,” said Daluz.

Thus, on June 15, he said the rapid diagnostic testing for employees started wherein only 103 attended.

He said those who test negative for antibodies can return to work the day after they get their results.

The rapid diagnostic testing will be conducted from June 15 to 19 with 200 employees scheduled to get tested daily, he said.

Through this, Daluz said, the MCWD main office will open gradually.

Employees who are 55 years old and above, and those with comorbidities are not required to report to work, but a work-from-home arrangement will be followed, he said.

Daluz said MCWD also rented a hotel across its main office building where those employees who test positive for Covid-19 but are asymptomatic will be housed.

Daluz also coordinated with the Cebu City Medical Center, which manages the Cebu City Quarantine Center, to spare at least 10 beds should there be MCWD employees who test positive for Covid-19 but are symptomatic.

Daluz also clarified that those employees infected with Covid-19 did not contract the disease within the building premises.

He urged employees to approach the MCWD Board first instead of posting their concerns on social media. (JJL)