The Quezon City government has appealed to national government offices within its jurisdiction to implement a “work-from-home” scheme starting Holy Monday until Easter Sunday to help arrest the surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

“Our target is to limit the mobility of people in the next nine days. As much as possible, we want everyone to stay home to contain the spread of COVID-19,” Mayor Joy Belmonte stressed.

“During this time frame, we hope to reduce the number of infection significantly, thus easing the burden on our healthcare system and our medical frontliners who are tirelessly working 24/7,” she added.

The City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) has recorded a total of 310 COVID-19 cases in about 30 national government offices in Quezon City since January 2021, with 192 of them active as of March 24.

Dr. Rolly Cruz, head of the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU), said the direction is to reduce the workforce and if possible, make it even lower than the government mandate of 30 to 50 percent.

“We are hoping that this scheme would help significantly arrest the surge of cases. If more people are at home rather than commuting to work or coming to their offices, then hopefully it can slow down the spread of the virus,” he said.

Based on their contact tracing, Cruz pointed out that a significant number of COVID-19 cases involves workers who got infected in the workplace and transmitted the virus to members of their household.

“Ang nangyayari nakukuha ng isang empleyado sa opisina. Sabay-sabay kasi sila kumakain, magkakasamang nagyoyosi or nag-uusap minsan na walang mask dahil kampante na sa isa’t isa. Tapos mata-transmit niya sa bahay pag-uwi dahil walang health protocols na sinusunod sa bahay,” Cruz said.

“After a family got infected, it would then lead to community transmission. If this happens, we would have no other choice but to place an area under special concern lockdown to stop the virus from spreading further,” he added.

As of March 23, 2021, the CESU said 487 out of 3,742 COVID-19 cases, or 13.01 percent, happened in workplaces while 985 or 26.35 percent occurred in households.