Press Releases
DOLE Issues Guidelines on the Prevention and Control of 2019-nCoV


Iloilo City – In light of the confirmation of the Department of Health (DOH) that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is now in the country, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Labor Advisory No. 4-20 providing guidelines on the prevention and control of the said virus in the workplace.


DOLE directed all employers to provide their workers information about the 2019-nCoV including its transmission, disease outcome, treatment options. Workers should also avoid or reduce direct exposure to animals, environments and objects which may be possibly carrying the 2019-nCoV. DOLE reminded that it should be emphasized to workers to observe proper personal hygiene and ensure a clean and healthy workplace.


In workplaces where workers are evidently at risk of infection such as health-care and other frontline facilities and services, DOLE emphasized that employers shall take immediate protective measures to avoid, correct or remove such imminent danger. A screening program on 2019-nCoV must also be installed in accordance with the DOH guidelines, which may include inquiring into the recent travel history of the employee, contact with confirmed or suspected 2019-nCoV and affliction of symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breathing or colds.


Employers were also reminded to ensure that their workers are equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) which are disposed accordingly after use.


The Department also provided guidance on how to care for sick employees. In the event that a worker is suspected of having 2019-nCoV, employers should provide the worker with a mask to avoid the spread of the virus, implement immediate isolation, and readily refer the worker to the company healthcare provider or nearest medical facility. Employers should also report the case to the DOH.


In case of workers are requested to stay at home or are served with quarantine orders related to the 2019-nCoV, DOLE said that they may use their sick/vacation leave credits, if provided in their respective companies. If such is not available or are already exhausted, employers are encouraged to consider granting the worker with leave of absence without pay or other flexible and compassionate options.


DOLE also said that workers who contract the 2019-nCoV in the performance of their work are entitled to sickness benefits under the Social Security System and employees’ compensation benefits. They can also avail of hospitalization benefits under PhilHealth.


DOLE likewise warned employers that in case employees cannot avail of the aforesaid benefits due to the employer’s fault, they shall shoulder all the medical expenses until full recovery of the employee.


The Department also assured the public of its assistance in the prevention and control of the 2019-nCoV through the Bureau of Working Conditions, Occupational Safety and Health Center, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the International Labor Affairs Bureau and DOLE regional offices.

Dir. Cyril L. Ticao
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